By Sally Fallon Morell
According to a recently released Cornell University study on the future of the dairy industry, the number of dairy farms will decline 85 percent from 2000 to 2020—from 105,000 farms to only 16,000. Large farms milking 500 cows or more are projected to rise from 2,700 to 3,400 while small farms milking under 100 cows are expected to drop from 84,000 to about 7,000.
We predict the opposite trend, with transition to small farms rather than large and increasing decentralization. With consumers increasingly demanding farm-fresh milk, the number of small farms milking under 100 cows will grow to hundreds of thousands. The recent ban on the entry of diseased cows into the food supply, sparked by the mad cow crisis, will hasten this process as it takes away an important source of revenue for large confinement dairies. Rising costs of feed and replacement cows will make large dairies more and more unsustainable. Take away price supports for grain (which many lawmakers are seriously contemplating) and the confinement system would collapse overnight.
This article appeared in the Winter 2003 edition of Wise Traditions, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Sally Fallon Morell is the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (with Mary G. Enig, PhD), a well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods with a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. She joined forces with Enig again to write Eat Fat, Lose Fat, and has authored numerous articles on the subject of diet and health. The President of the Weston A. Price Foundation and founder of A Campaign for Real Milk, Sally is also a journalist, chef, nutrition researcher, homemaker, and community activist. Her four healthy children were raised on whole foods including butter, cream, eggs and meat.