Whether it was farm bill policy, pricing controversies, record feed costs or on-dairy struggles, there was plenty to cover in the dairy industry in 2012.
To choose the stories that resonated most with Dairy Today's editors and readers, we combed through hundreds of articles that appeared in Dairy Today’s magazine and on our website. Read on to learn which stories we picked for our Top 10 list.
Have your own favorite story from Dairy Today this year? Let us know which story you would have added to our list.
1. Cheese. Cows. Wow! – John and Celia Harrison turn milk from their 1,350 cows into 100,000 lb. of boutique cheese that they sell to nearly 13,000 visitors to their farm. The effort gained the Tennessee couple 2012 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year honors.
2. Exports Are Ripe Opportunity for U.S. Dairy - Three U.S. dairy processing executives today stressed the tremendous opportunity that exports hold for the U.S. dairy industry.
3. ICE Raid! - It wasn’t the first or even the second time Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents raided his Michigan dairy that shook John VerHaar to his core.
4. Reducing Somatic Cells Counts Isn’t Fast or Easy - The conventional wisdom is that you only need to cull a few high-cell-count cows for your bulk tank average to magically fall below 400,000. Think again.
5. USDA Suspends Central Valley Meat for Humane Handling Violations - In-N-Out Burger and McDonald's also sever ties with the slaughterhouse after video shows dairy cow abuse.
6. Federal Order Controversy Brews in California’s Dairy Industry – The Golden State considers whether to abandon its longtime pricing system for a Federal Milk Marketing Order.
7. Nowhere to Turn – Every day of the past year, Texas dairy producer John Traweek has asked himself the same question: “Will my family and our Jam-Dot Dairy be the next to go under?”
8. Life Without Federal Orders – Sure, the open market sounds good. But Class I differentials and minimum prices add millions to milk checks.
9. Obamacare Starts Now - Although the requirement for midsized employers to offer insurance to employees under the Affordable Care Act doesn’t kick in until 2014, employers who currently offer insurance have some paperwork to do.
10. Can Fluid Be Saved? - When you’re outcompeted and out-innovated, that is the question.