Pennsylvania’s Dairy Industry Continues to Crumble

Leading dairy producing county Lancaster is heading toward troubled times as Americans ditch dairy for plant-based milk.


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The dairy industry in Lancaster, PA—one of the state’s leading dairy-producing counties—is experiencing a sharp decline due to a decreasing consumer demand for milk. “The industry is struggling every day on how to become profitable in a market that is shrinking more and more,” Penn State Extension dairy educator Mauricio Rosales told local news outlet Lancaster Online. Rosales also revealed that in May, dairy corporation Land O’Lakes imposed limits on the volume of milk it would source from dairy farmers in the county. “The dairy industry is not going well and it hasn’t been well in a long time,” Lancaster County Agriculture Council chairwoman Lisa Graybeal added, before pointing to the the decrease in milk consumption as the reason behind the industry’s problems. Lancaster isn’t the only county in the state where dairy is no longer profitable. Last week, major Pennsylvania dairy plant Galliker’s Dairy in the Johnstown area severed ties with 11 milk suppliers due to a recurring surplus of dairy products it has not been to sell to consumers in recent years. The decline of dairy in the state of Pennsylvania is representative of a paradigm shift away from the animal-derived product in the country and worldwide—supported by current predictions that the plant-based milk industry will be worth $16 billion by 2018.