COVID-19 impacts on the dairy industry have been severe, forcing a lot of U.S. dairy producers to dump milk as the pandemic ramped up.
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Grocery Store Images ( Wyatt Bechtel )

Ben Gingg is a Dairy Farmer in Arizona, who says COVID-19 cost his state a lot of milk production.

“We’re one of the areas that dumped a lot of milk. We are pushing the co-op just because we’re a single co-op out here in Arizona. Our members have pushed out the milk here for several years, and so, two years ago, we adopted a history program to monitor our production and had that in place when the pandemic hit. That being said, when April rolled along and we were asked to cut back ten percent, we already had a history program in place, and so we immediately cut back ten percent on our production.”

But today, Gingg says things are looking better.

“So far, so good. We’re watching it close. Everybody wears a mask as far as in the milk barn, because they are working shoulder-to-shoulder in our milk barns and, other than that, we haven’t faced any other challenges. We’re sure glad all the milk is getting picked up now, and the foodservice and our cheese customer is taking product again.”

He says the biggest challenge wasn’t necessarily in fluid milk, but rather the cheese market where they saw the biggest bottleneck.

As U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration seeks to revive its ambitious social spending and climate plan in Congress, environmental groups and the farm industry are at odds over proposed subsidies aimed at offsetting agriculture’s substantial contribution to global warming.

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