Milk routes lengthening from consolidation at both ends

A milk hauler servicing northern Indiana and southwest Michigan says he believes the viability of small dairies in his region is limited.

“I believe in the next 20 years if you’re not shipping a truckload of milk at least every other day, you’re not going to be milking cows in this area.”

Randy Neirynck has been hauling milk for about 35 years mainly for farms milking less than 150 cows.  He tells Brownfield his routes from farm to processing are getting even further apart, with few farms in between, especially after Dean Foods closed their Rochester, Indiana plant in 2015.

“Now we’re going another 150 miles south or another 150 miles north, or even into Wisconsin from time to time.

In the last five years, Neirynck says he’s also lost about 150,000 pounds of milk hauling from farms closing and often hears from others still considering leaving the dairy industry.

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