When the dairy industry collapsed last year, its dairy workers and owners were left scrambling to find new jobs.
Now they’re just trying to figure out how to stay afloat.
“People are just looking for work,” says Chris Waggoner, who has worked at a dairy farm for six years and now runs his own dairy business.
“You see it in people’s faces.
They say, ‘How do I get paid?
How do I pay my rent?
How are I going to pay for this?'”
Waggoni is one of those people.
Waggini has been working at the Roper dairy farm near Haverhill, Vermont, for three years, where he works with cows.
“My main job is to milk cows and make sure they get enough milk to make cheese,” he says.
Wags, who’s also a dairy farmer, also makes cheese, but his main job right now is helping feed his family.
“We’re just kind of hanging in there,” he adds.
For Waggino, who earns $7.50 an hour, the only way he can make ends meet is to sell his dairy products at wholesale, which has a lot of competition.
“There’s no competition right now, so I’m just going to do it for a little while,” he explains.
Wagino says he’s been selling milk for almost two years now.
“It’s kind of a big part of my life,” he said.
The dairy industry in Vermont was the largest producer of dairy in the country, and it was a hot commodity in the past few years, with prices rising up to 30 percent a year.
Wagers’ father, who had run the farm for generations, passed away in 2005.
Wager has been farming since then.
He also runs a business selling cheese, which makes up about 80 percent of his income.
But in the dairy business, the demand for milk has increased, and the market is crashing.
Warge’s son, Dan, started his own business last year.
“I think it’s pretty clear that there’s going to be a downturn in the market, because we’re going to need a lot more of that milk,” he told Bleacher.
Wagging, who runs his family’s dairy business for three decades, is just one of many who have been affected by the market crash.
The collapse in the industry is expected to lead to an increase in the price of milk, as well as a decrease in the supply of milk.
The supply of dairy products will likely also be affected, as more producers are forced to sell at a loss, as their business was shut down.
According to the U.S. Dairy Farmers Association, the cost of producing a gallon of milk in the U to produce one gallon of cheese has increased nearly threefold since 2011, and costs have increased even more for dairy producers in the Midwest.
Many dairy farmers have found themselves in a bind.
“Right now we’re in a position where we’re just sitting on the sidelines, because there’s no supply and no demand for cheese,” says Waggon.
Wiggan says he has been able to keep his dairy business afloat by stocking up on milk.
He said the only thing he can do now is work as many hours as he can to make sure his dairy is stocked with milk, and that he has a steady income.
“That’s all I can do.
That’s all the money I have left,” he added.
“When the economy starts to go downhill, that’s when I start to worry.”