This is not news, but Maine dairy farmers now stare at a double-set of spinning saw teeth in the form of higher costs of production and shrinking government subsidies. The BDN recently reported on the hearings in Augusta that are taking place to discuss how much the State can continue to afford to prop up the prices paid to dairy farmers given the enormous budget deficits they are charged to with eliminating. I heard all about this at the recent Ag Day at the Legislature, but it seems they’re still no closer to a solution.
Obviously, without Maine milk, there isn’t going to be much of a Maine cheese industry, but the threat goes deeper than that. The remaining 300 dairy farms also support feed dealers, farm equipment dealers, and all other manner of agricultural supply resources in the state. Without a base of dairy farms in the state, these support services won’t be able to stay in business either. In the baldest terms, Maine dairy farms support all Maine agriculture…which means everyone connected with ag in the state are staring at the same spinning saw teeth now.