Numbers don't add up for dairies

| Print |  Email
Articles - February 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
0211_MalloriesMilkThe closing of a longtime Oregon dairy has delivered another blow to an already fragile industry suffering from declining milk prices and rising feed costs. Five years ago Oregon had about 330 dairy farms that produced and sold milk. Today it has 280.

Silverton-based Mallorie’s Dairy closed last month after more than 50 years of producing and distributing milk to Mid-Willamette Valley grocers. Officials for the dairy said the combination of low milk prices and rising feed costs made it difficult to remain profitable.

“It was a very well run operation, extremely efficient,” says Jim Krahn, executive director for the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association. “What was sobering about Mallorie’s was that they had been in existence for a long time, and had been a legend in the industry to that extent.”

The dairy was founded in 1954 by Robert Mallorie and remained a family-run operation when his children, Rick and Teri, continued to run the company after his death in 1996. The business employed more than 50 people full time and had around 3,000 dairy cows.

In Oregon and across the rest of the U.S., dairy producers have been facing declining milk prices while suffering from rising feed costs since late 2008, along with an oversupply problem.

“[When] the economy went south in ’08 we lost a lot of exports,” says Krahn. “Our surplus built up and we are still sitting on it. We simply have too much of it.” In 2009, Oregon’s dairy farm production was valued at $307 million.

While Krahn emphasizes the optimism of dairy producers, he is beginning to admit the current climate is making it harder for producers to stay hopeful.

“It’s hard to be optimistic over this length of time,” says Krahn. “I know many people have said, if [Mallorie’s] can’t make it, how can we? It’s causing people to take a second look, if they are going to get through this or not.”

MAX GELBER
 

More Articles

Back to School

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE

Oregon is home to an abundance of gritty warehouses reborn as trendy office spaces, as well as crafty hipsters turned entrepreneurs. Does the combination yield an equally bounteous office products sector? Not so much. Occupying the limited desk jockey space are Field Notes, a spinoff of Portland’s Draplin Design Company, and Schuttenworks, known for whittling Apple device stands. For a full complement of keyboard trays, docking stations and mouse pads, check out the GroveMade line, guaranteed to boost the cachet of even the lowliest cubicle drone. 


Read more...

Storyteller in Chief: Power Player

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA WESTON

In 1996, after a 17-year career in the destination marketing industry, where I gained national standing as the CEO of the Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County, I was recruited by the founders of a new professional basketball league for women. The American Basketball League (ABL) hoped to leverage the success of the 1996 USA women’s national team at the Atlanta Olympics — much like USA Soccer is now leveraging the U.S. Women’s National Team’s victory in the World Cup. The ABL wanted a team in Portland, and they wanted me to be its general manager.


Read more...

10 Innovators in Rural Health

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Telemedicine, new partnerships and real estate diversification make health care more accessible in rural Oregon.


Read more...

Loose Talk

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

When gossip crosses the line.


Read more...

Reader Input: Fair Play

May 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.


Read more...

Is there life beyond Reed?

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY GARY THILL | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A storied institution climbs down from the ivory tower.


Read more...

Reader Input: Road Work

March 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS