Why I am so strong for a Local Farmer Owned Non-Profit Co-Op ?
I have been a Dairy Farmer for over thirty years. I am 52 years old and have a 500 acre farm in northern Tioga County PA. We milk 60 cows and ship my milk through Middlebury Cooperative. I am the president and General Manager of our Co-Op. Through the first fifteen years I had no say what so ever in my price or hauling rates. I also was a lender for decisions gone bad, for the big Cooperatives. Myself and 5 other local Dairymen took the opportunity to utilize our local advantage, with a small Farmer Operated Non-Profit Co-Op. We have eliminated the high cost of hauling, and the large overheads that eat up our premiums earned from local markets. Along with these benefits we can form our own destiny without worry of assessments. I am very pleased with what we have accomplished and encourage other Dairymen to look, listen, and take advantage when the time is right to form you future and keep the rural communities working by saving the Family Farms.
Donald E. Gilman