67 California Dairies Quit in 2013

March 11, 2014 -- 67 dairies closed their doors in California in 2013, according to data released by the California Department of Food and Agricutlure (CDFA). That adds up to about 45,000 less cows.

"Given that each cow generates more than $34,000 in economic activity each year, the closure of these dairies has caused the loss of more than $1.4 billion in economic activity and more than 11,000 jobs," explained Joe Augusto, president of the California Dairy Campaign (CDC).

To prevent more dairies from going out of business, CDC is calling for California to join the federal milk marketing order (FMMO) system to bring prices paid to dairy farmers in California in line with prices paid in other states.

"There are fewer than 1500 dairies remaining in California, and a significant reason for the drop in the number of dairies is due to the fact that prices paid to California dairy producers are significantly lower than prices paid in the federal order," stated Augusto. "Passage of the 'California Milk Marketing Order Act" was our top priority and now that it has been signed into law in the 2014 farm bill, we have the authority necessary to move to join the federal order system and sustain dairies statewide."

The 2014 farm bill incluced the "California Milk Marketing Order Act" introduced by Reps. David Valadao (R-21), and Jim Costa (D-16), which would enable California to retain its state quota program in the federal order system.

CDC reports that more than 170 California dairies have gone ouf of business in the last two years.