“I started working for the previous owner when I was about 13 years old. And I’ve worked for him up until I brought it,” he said.
Milk prices have taken a dramatic turn downward over the past four years. After more than 15 years of running “Kurt Dairy” in Dane County, owner Kyle Kurt was forced to put it up for auction due to the prolong low milk prices.
His farm has been struggling for the past two years. Kurt said farmers are getting $13.50 per hundred pounds for their milk, which is well below what they were getting just a few years ago. Kurt thinks there is too much milk in the market, which has contributed to the lower prices.
“In 2014, for a couple months, we got around $24, $25 a hundred,” he said.
But he said they need at least $18 just to break even.
“Kurt isn’t the only farmer in the area who is struggling. A neighboring farmer says low milk prices have forced him to put his cows up for sale.”
Just a mile away, James Mulcahy’s dairy farm is up for sale because of low milk prices.
“It’s very tough. It’s very disheartening because we’ve stuck a lot of soul into that place. We’re 3rd generation. It’s not easy,” he said.
Kurt feels if prices don’t take a dramatic turn upwards, there won’t be many small family farms left.
“Especially for a young person to start farming is virtually impossible. You’re going to have to have a lot of backing from generations before you to get into dairy farming.”
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