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Appalachian dairy farmers form new cooperative

Formation of co-op to protect members who previously marketed milk independently.

May 2, 2018

1 Min Read
Appalachian dairy farmers form new cooperative

In reaction to changing market conditions, a group of dairy farmers who previously marketed their milk independently have formed Appalachian Dairy Farmers Cooperative (ADFC) and expect to begin operations on June 1, 2018. The new organization has entered into an agreement with Piedmont Milk Sales LLC to market the milk produced by the cooperative's members and manage its day-to-day business under the direction of the cooperative’s board of directors.

“This new structure became necessary because of the current imbalance between the milk supply and the demand for milk, which has driven milk prices received by dairy farmers to levels that are below the cost of production,” ADFC board president Gary MacGibbon said. “Events over the past few months in the dairy industry have shown just how vulnerable dairy farmers are to changing market conditions. While formation of this new cooperative will not improve prices received by dairy farmers for their milk, it will help members of ADFC retain markets for their milk.”

Membership in the cooperative will be offered to dairy farmers who have historically marketed their milk as independent producers through Piedmont Milk Sales. ADFC will limit membership to ensure an appropriate balance between the cooperative's milk supply and the sales volumes currently available to the cooperative.

ADFC and Piedmont will hold informational sessions in early May throughout Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina to provide dairy farmers who currently ship their milk as independent producers through Piedmont with an opportunity to ask questions about the new cooperative and discuss current market conditions. Membership agreements will be available at these meetings.

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