Amish Push Back Against Low Milk Prices With Cheese Factory

Low milk prices have been an issue for Amish farmers for quite a while now, pushing some out of the dairy business. So I was happy to see this story about Amish in the Conewango Valley, NY settlement taking some control back by going in strong on a revamped cheese plant. The facility manager explains:

“The facility has been Amish owned for a long time but they leased it to English folks,” manager Eric Hastings said. “The English folks moved out about four years ago and the Amish community here and the farmers decided that if they were going to do it, they were going to do it on their own. The Amish community completely revamped and overhauled the facility. It is really a state-of-the-art facility now. It took them about four years to do it, but now it is Amish owned and run and all the products are made by the Amish as well, coming from local farms in the Amish community.”

The point is that the facility can process the milk into less-perishable products like cheese and yogurt. This is a plain settlement which I believe does not permit technology like agitators, which would allow them to keep milk uniformly cool and adherent to the standards of a higher grade of milk.

Amish in plainer communities like this often have to sell their milk as Grade B – for products like cheese – rather than Grade A for drinking milk. So this provides them more control and an optimistic path forward:

“It was a perfect timing for us to start up, it’s already been able to start stabilizing their monthly milk check,” Hastings said. “We have not had to dump milk here at our farms, but the milk price has been terrible. It is not a stable milk market at all, that was forcing a lot of farms to get out. We hope to bring the next generation of farmers into the business.”

Though many Amish have gone into other types of business, many still believe farming is the “ideal” occupation. The Amish see the investment as helping assure not only their own future but that of their descendants, according to Hastings: “The guys who built this over the last four years, they volunteered their time so that way their grandchildren would have a stable milk market that can keep the farming tradition alive here in Conewango Valley.”

All best to the Conewango Valley Amish on their new venture.

Get the Amish in your inbox

Join 15,000 email subscribers. No spam. 100% free

    Join the Amish America Patreon for bonus videos & more!

    Similar Posts

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    1. Michelle


      Is this cheese factory on Rt 62? There is a cheese shop there with Amish goods, jams quilts etc and A cheese shopbut I thought it was English made cheese.

      1. According to the article, looks like that’s the one. Probably that was when it was leased to English people and I guess it was a different source of products. The Amish spent the last four years or so revamping the place – sounds like a big (or just slow) overhaul!

    2. Bert Clayton

      Glad to see an alternative

      I’m sorry to hear the market has been hurting you guys so much.
      It seems like these things are staged ever so often to force out the smaller people. I mean over time, just watching it seems like it is deliberate acts and an effort to incorporate and industrialize everything, which I’m against. If you were here in SC producing good Raw Jersey Milk, I’d rather buy from you guys. But every so often, these things happen that keep lowering our spending power. So many are do animalistic not thinking about quality and the persons behind things. It might be what is planned to keep America ahead of other nations, but I prefer dealing with a human. As you guys, I’d feel comfortable knowing it’s honest folks that I know I can trust and would prefer to support. It’d be good if others would.
      Sheep milk is starting to get recognition now and is said to be delicious. It would be good if you could merge into this market. It’s still young, what seems to be a good time to merge in to get established for future demands. A lady told me sheep milk is thick almost like a shake and delicious. Sounds like it’d be good with some chocolate syrup. Then many who can’t tolerate cow milk can tolerate sheep milk. Another market to tap.
      I mention it just in case you it might have an appeal, not to mention nutrients.
      I hope the Lord will protect you and continue to provide your resources so your lineage never need to sacrifice your family and religious traditions.
      Best Regards,
      Bert Clayton