Dairy farmers discuss the future of dairy farming at annual conference in Bowling Green

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- Dairy farmers from around the state are in Bowling Green to talk about the future of dairy farming.

Kentucky Dairy partners and Young Dairy producers are attending a two-day conference at the Sloan Convention Center.

Attendees are talking about the sweeping technical advancements in the industry, as well as how to combat declining dairy sales.

Kentucky has gone from having over a thousand dairy farms to just under 500 in recent years.

“The last couple of years, production costs have exceeded with the milk price is. Part of that is an oversupply of milk, another part is a lessening demand for milk,” said Maury Cox, Executive Director at Kentucky Dairy Development Council.

Carl Chaney owns Chaney’s Dairy Barn in Bowling Green, he blames the decline in dairy sales on alternative milk drinks.

“I don’t call them milk beverages, because they’re not. If it doesn’t come from a cow, if it doesn’t lactate it’s not milk. I think there’s that and people’s consumption of milk has decreased,” said Chaney.

Despite some of the problems that dairy farmers have recently had, one of the ways they’re looking to turn things around is with technology.

“Robotic milking, that’s the biggest leap. You don’t have to be there. The cow goes and gets milked on demand, when she wants to. So, we find that the average cow will go from 2.2 to 2.5 times a day,” said Cox.

Chaney says they’ve come a long way since the days when his father was a dairy farmer

“We actually get to milk with a robot, and it does a fantastic job. It just gives us so much more information on every cow,” said Chaney.

Dairy farms have been struggling all over the country. A gallon of whole milk at Walmart costs just under $2 right now.