A few weeks ago, a video of farmers dumping their milk was circling.
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On Monday at the U of R River Campus, farmers were handing out their milk for free.

Michael Balonek, Mumford Dairy and Meat: “Dairy Farmers of America is providing milk for the region. There was supply issues, logistical issues when COVID struck. So there were farmers dumping milk just because we couldn’t get it processed. That has since changed now all the milk is being used instead of being dumped. The DFA realizes the hurt in the communities and has decided to donate product.”

The Dairy Farmers of America is a nationwide farmer-owned cooperative. In the northeast, 3,400 dairy farms are members. There were 4,300 gallons of milk donated Monday in Monroe County.

Michael Balonek: “Dairy Farmers of America is making a good will donation to these communities right now.”

Cassandra Balonek, Mumford Dairy and Meat: “So all member farmers put into the pool and this milk gets paid for by everyone really.”

But how was it to see the milk being given away as a farmer?

Michael Balonek: “All we ever see are the milk trucks taking our milk from the farm so it’s nice to be able to have an opportunity to see the people who are using the milk to feed their families. It’s a great product, it’s good food.”

Michael says the price of milk has dropped by 40% and most farms will be hurting for a long time.

Cassandra Balonek: “Prices will be depressed for a while because of this with dairy farms and crop farms, any type of farm, really, is going to feel hurt for a while and some may not survive it, which is really troubling.”

Michael Balonek: “We have lost a lot of markets with the school and the restaurants. Heavy cream and cheese usage, it’s kind of fallen apart and that’s a reason why we are trying to find other venues to use the product and this is an excellent use of it. It helps everybody.”

A former Fonterra consultant and a molecular biologist have teamed up to create lab-grown milk proteins without the need for a cow.

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