Family Farming in Trouble Again


11 Years
Apr 2, 2008
This just makes me sad...

MILLIKEN — When the first trucks rolled onto the Bernhardt farm in June, none of the Bernhardt boys wanted to be around.

Tim, 53, made sure he was in Seattle with friends. Brother Dave, at 60 the oldest, took to the basement.

But before Dave retreated for the day, he made sure his 87-year-old father, Rueben, wasn't going to witness what could be the death of the family dairy farm.

"We closed the curtains in his bedroom so he wouldn't have to watch," said Dave. "He knew they were there, but still, we didn't want him to see it all."

By the end of the day, about 11 trucks had hauled out all of the Bernhardts' 1,375 producing dairy cows and sent them to slaughter as part of a "herd retirement" program
Farmers and ranchers who want to participate submit a bid on the number of cows they want to retire. They are paid based on the previous year's production of the cows and on the value of the cows going to slaughter.

Why does it make you mad?

They chose to participate in the program and were paid for the cows.​
Poster said sad not mad. I'm sure the saddness is for the farmer who would rather have his dairy cows and do what he and his family have been doing for generations there. With the price of milk being so low, they decided to participate because they would receive more money for the slaughter by the program than they would get for milk. It was to help in the long run on not having so much milk available so they will get better prices, hopefully it will help and they can have their family dairy farm up and running again in the near future.
Very sad....Yes the milk prices to the farmer are stuck in the 1970's and that's impossible to live with with the price of feed, electricity, etc rising since then.

I cannot imagine the pain of that family as their heritage is gone forever..Their way of life. What they gave decades and lifetimes to....

Our country pays more for sodas than it will for milk...mmmm....

I think that even the medium size farm is paddling upstream and I know the smaller ones like ours definitely is. I just pray that one day we'll all wake up and support our local growers and farmers as the value of local produce nutritionally is worth the few pennies more you pay than buying from the huge megagrocery stores which has travelled for days on the highways, loosing its nutrition and eating up gasoline as it travels to you and me.

I remember as a child going to Mathis Dairies in Atlanta and milking a cow and standing by the giant plastic cow....It was a small little dairy.....Children came from all around Georgia and even Tennessee to see it and enjoy country life....

I wonder if the real family farm is still there.....

We no longer drink cow milk, only our own fresh goat milk and have done this for years.....If I did drink cow milk, I would go straight to a dairy to buy milk and other milk products....

Thanks for sharing this story with us. Painful as it was to read. I'll certainly add that farm and family to our family prayer list..
I love the local farmers. I just wish more folks around here grew potatoes. Last time I got potatoes from the grocery, they were rotten less than a week later.

Gonna plant my own next year.

The local dairy is virtually impossible to get in contact with to purchase fresh milk. Their phone number is plastered all over but nobody ever picks up the line. I'd love to buy local (and fresh), but sometimes it seems if you didn't grow up here and already know all the people, they don't want to do business with you.

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