The six Sullivan County dairy farms whose contracts were dropped by a Connecticut milk broker this spring are working to open their own creamery to stay in business.
On Thursday, the Sullivan County Legislature approved close to $93,500 in grant funding to support the project in an 8-0 vote. Legislator Catherine Owens was absent.
The money will be used to develop a business plan including a feasibility analysis; facility concept and design; developing business, financial, management and routing structures; and purchasing a tandem-axle milk truck, according to the Legislature’s resolution.
The proposed creamery would be called Ma and Pa Creamery LLC and produce niche dairy products.
In May, the six farms were notified by Marcus Dairy Inc. in Connecticut that it will no longer purchase their milk.
Farms around the country are going through similar struggles. Too much supply and falling demand has forced brokers to let farmers go, which has a ripple effect on the other industries that make dairy farming possible.
The creamery project is the result of collaboration between the six dairy farms, Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County, Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation, Sullivan County Funding Corporation, Agricultural and Community Development Services LLC and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther’s office.