December 11, 2017
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Comments for: For dairy farmers, loss of Bangor Garelick facility hits home

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  • Anonymous

    Hopefully someone in the industry will re-open the garelick plant.

    • Anonymous

       It would be wonderful if Hood or Oakhurst bought it.

  • Anonymous

    Maine ‘Open for Business’ Ayah sounds good to  me LePlague

  • Anonymous

    Maine ‘Open for business’ sure it is…LeParagraph…..what a joke.

    • Anonymous

      The Bangor plant is a small one.  Garelick’s facilities in Lynn, Franklin, and East Greenbush, NY are much larger facilities.

      It is no comfort to those in Bangor, I know.  I go to that plant several times a year, and know some of the workers personally.

      This has absolutely nothing to do with who is governor.  I haven’t been impressed with much of what has come out of the governor’s mouth, either, but there is no linkage to him.

      • Anonymous

         We should be concerned about food production here in Maine. It is not in Mainers’ best interest to have food produced out of state and trucked in. We need to have foods produced locally, which means consumers need to support local farmers. In case of a food shortage (recall, natural disaster, drought, animal illness, contamination from runoff, etc), given our location and the expense to get food here, we would be the last ones to receive food from the rest of the nation.  The state of Maine would be wise to ensure that we grow enough food to feed our own. Yes, it is cost effective for agri-business to have their product produced close to their distribution centers, but if Maine loses the capacity and the trade knowledge to farm, we are allowing ourselves to be put in a very precarious position.

        • Anonymous

          No argument from me.  In this forum, about a year ago, I wrote that I would like to see support for Aroostook County agriculture, in the form of processing plants for cool-weather vegetables.  Aroostook has the land and could produce peas, sweet corn, cabbage, and those type veggies on a large scale.  They already do produce an important amount of broccoli. 

          Packaging and processing that stuff right here adds value by manufacture.  So does the Garelick Bangor plant.  It is always better (well, probably almost always) to add value than just ship the raw product.

          One silver lining – the cows and the farms are still here in Maine.  The milk is produced locally.  Most milk consumed in the New England States comes from Maine and Vermont, plus quite a bit from New York.  The entire New England area is really only the size of an average-sized state.

          Maybe Hood or Oakhurst will acquire the plant.  That would be fantastic.

          • “I wrote that I would like to see support for Aroostook County agriculture, in the form of processing plants for cool-weather vegetables.  ”

            I like your idea!

      • Anonymous

        A small Plant?  How small can a plant be that serves the state of Maine and more?

        • Anonymous

          With the right crew and equipment – and quality producers to supply – their size can be / do and HAS… but what are you paying for gas right now for your car.?  

          A dairy – sends truck out daily to pick up milk from farm – and if they the supplier for State – they sending those trucks daily to every dairy farmer here in Maine that in contract –  to do pickup – then truck back to facility………….  where every load is tested for bacteria/ butter fat content, etc., then processed – the office has to deal with results…. manage pay to farmers. 

          Then the milk separated/processed by equipment – employees to process……… then packaged – then shipped again retail.  

          Look at the size of this one company that managing that – then try to imagine how those employees and the company feels to CLOSE.

          Land’oLakes is not going to purchase……….. they know what it costs to produce milk here, unless they can buy plant at a steal

        • Anonymous

          It is small in comparison to West Lynn, Franklin, and East Greenbush.

          I’m not happy to see it close.   I consider a couple employees friends; I haul milk there.

          It is good to process the milk in state.  But I can understand why Dean might find it in its best interest to close it.

          Much of the milk produced by Garelick farmers already goes to Franklin and to Lynn.

    • Anonymous

      wow..your knowledge of how maine business works is breathtaking…please tell us more mr economy….

      • Anonymous

         OK let me see if I can help with this one 1st make up some bulls?$@  disability  2nd collect your check,ebt,free health care ,free oil, free phone and cable. 3rd complain that Lepage is trying to take away your free stuff.4th Vote for the candidate that’s gonna give you the most of what your neighbor has worked for .Yeah that about sums up the prevailing knowledge of the economy in the state of Maine.

    • Anonymous

      And just what did the Dems do to help?

      • Anonymous

        Neither the Dems or the Reps, or independents supposed to HELP – we are supposed to be in control of them – and us………. that is why we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights…….  the past 200 years – we all seem to have forgotten that.

      • Maybe it is time for a third party. Rocky Anderson….Justice Party!

    • Anonymous

      23,000 new jobs in Maine under LePage…but you knew that  along with his shrinking the debt by 19% and Medicaid enrollment by 13%. 
      …..the joke is on you for being so ignorant about the progress LePage is making towards fiscal stability.

  • Old Bear

    Sad

  • Anonymous

     I think many of us are not too surprised about this; considering that all the liberals in the state only drink kool-aid…………………………

    • Guest

      It’s time for you people to come up with something different. That kool aid stuff is old, boring and getting to be amusing.

    • Anonymous

      hahahahhahahahah no don’t stop I need a good laugh every once in a while .I wonder if they even know the origin of the koolaid comment.

      • Anonymous

        I doubt it; unless their parents told them about it…..  That’s part of our problems today;  these whiz kids don’t have a clue about the past and what our forebearers had to endure to allow the ‘premies’ to spout off there brainwashed spiel to us…………..

    • Divide and conquer. If you can only think liberal conservative etc. you will continue to eat produce that has lost it’s flavor and nutrition  from being trucked hundreds of miles…eat genetically altered food.  Have no local farmers.Eat food that actually makes you sick instead of nourishing your body.

      Did you know that Monsanto bought Blackwater? Henry Kissinger, one of your own , said you control the food , you control the people.

  • Guest

    I go straight to the farmer for my milk. It’s fresh, it’s local and it’s delicious.

    • Anonymous

       As I posted above, we should be concerned about food production here in Maine. It is not in
      Mainers’ best interest to have food produced out of state and trucked
      in. We need to have foods produced locally, which means consumers need
      to support local farmers. In case of a food shortage (recall, natural
      disaster, drought, animal illness, contamination from runoff, etc),
      given our location and the expense to get food here, we would be the
      last ones to receive food from the rest of the nation.  The state of
      Maine would be wise to ensure that we grow enough food to feed our own.
      Yes, it is cost effective for agri-business to have their product
      produced close to their distribution centers, but if Maine loses the
      capacity and the trade knowledge to farm, we are allowing ourselves to
      be put in a very precarious position.

      • Guest

        Absolutely.
        No farms, no food.

      • Anonymous

        I grew up on a farm w/fresh meat, vegies and fruit and miss it.  I stopped buying frozen
        shrimp at local stores when I realized it came from Thiland but fresh native shrimp is much more expensive.   I am willing to pay more for home grown, healthier produce but it needs to be more accessible and should not cost more than importing it from other states/countries.  Not enough farmers !!   I don’t want to buy meat from Mexico anymore.   Where do we go from here?    

        • Anonymous

          There are programs where you ‘buy’ your own steer and the farm raises it and then butcher’s it. Substantial savings. Similar programs offer ‘shares’ of other farm produce. These are great for large families or small groups, since there is an abundance of produce.  Ever watch people on food stamps shop at WHOLE FOODS in  Portland and buy hundreds of dollars of imported luxury foods?  You have to see it to believe it. 

          • Whole Foods was found to be selling  food irrigated by filthy water in China. ..labeled as organic. The only way to know for sure just how good the quality of our food is …is to buy local. 

        • Where do we go from here? Support our local farmers. Educate ourselves and others re. 1) the food crisis in the US. 2) the war on real food as opposed to Frankenfood and GMOs.

      • Anonymous

        Absolutely, but talk to any new or organic truck farmer and ask them about the ton of regulations they have to meet. 

        How many dairies have manure runoff problems like Wolfe Neck Farms did several years ago?

        Were you aware of the take over bid and internal war between DEP and Ag.? LePage prevented chaos by merging Ag with Beardsley’s dept. instead, otherwise the full wrath of DEP regulation would have strangled the life from vulnerable farms…..when have you ever heard someone from DEP say they will help you meet the impact of their regulations?  

        • Anonymous

          Do you raise livestock – Organicgardener ?????????????  or truck vegetables.

    • Anonymous

      You are very fortunate.   When I was in college we got our milk directly from a farmer – until that point I hated milk – never drank it a child (unless I added hershey’s).  Because of this experience I love milk today.  Why can’t more of us buy directly from the farmer? 

      • Because the Federal Govt . throws up road blocks every chance they get for local produce, milk, and meat etc. They like enormous filthy cruel meat production. 

    • Anonymous

      .

  • Conley Raye

    Went out of business before Romney could outsource it.
     I wonder if their voucher plan will include, Milk ?  It is a sad day and still no one is looking into the 
    reason why and try to correct it. Maine just ranked as the second worse state to do business in or retire in behind Hawai. We need to overhaul our state government and all the agencies as the same people keep getting elected or because of political favors get the high paying jobs that run on cruise control.

    • Anonymous

      There are plenty of subsidies; what needs to disappear are price controls on milk. Let the market determine the price based on quality, etc. and increase milk subsidies as part of EBC(?), TANF(?), and other programs for vulnerable populations.  I believe this works rather well for the new organic dairies who have premium pricing for their products and are evolving out of the ‘startup’ phase. 

      Issue vouchers that can only be spent on milk products for children under 18. 

      Then there are all those damn USDOA regulations and red tape entangled programs to ‘help’ the Farmer

      • Anonymous

        You have a lot of opinion on dairy product and market – but do you produce….. ?

        Are you asking for quota/subsidy as Canada and Britain – and where you ORGANIC – and if you do produce milk…………………………….  are you carrying insurance against TB on your milk – where it now reintroducing itself to world.

        Organic milk has no protection against TB, other disease.

        • BexPWM

          Are you perhaps confusing “organic milk” with “raw milk”? “Raw” milk is the unpasteurized stuff. “Organic” milk is still pasteurized, just like all the other milk in the dairy case, & does not carry the risks of which you speak.

          • Anonymous

            Yes indeed; I grew up in a ‘health food’ family, and we not only drank raw milk but inspected the dairies and the farmers carefully to determine how clean and sanitary they were, and how conscious they were about sanitizing their milking parlors.

            You can get sick but you can also become immune….I’m incredibly healthy, perhaps it’s due to drinking raw milk and growing organic foods as a kid??

            Vermonts family dairy farms are far and few inbetween. Regulations are one part, the other is the cost of constant upgrades and availability of farm labor including kids who want to take over the operation. Burlington is expanding southward over prime dairylands….I have a pic of a for sale sign on one family farm and stresses the ability to subdivide.

            Given the risks and ‘liberal’ lawyers with their class action lawsuits; a new organic dairy would be crazy not to pasteurize their product.

        • Scott Harriman

          Regarding disease, organic milk and non-organic milk have the same “protection”.  Both are pasteurized and processed in the same way.

      • Farmageddon can be watched online free at hulu. The documentary states that 80% or over of dairy farms in the US have closed since the 70’s. Red tape is one way that the govt. closes the market for all but large corporations.Large corporations  have the money for bribes/ campaign contributions . Small farms just can’t buy their justice.

  • Anonymous

    M aine Milk Commission Fails again.

  • Glad to hear that members of the Dairy Farmers of America will still have their milk picked up and distributed  to other facilities..but where is the nearest?  And what will that mean for DFA members here in Maine in terms of  increased costs?.

    • Anonymous

      Lindsay, the two nearest are Hood and Oakhurst in Portland.  Like a lot of things in life, though, it isn’t purely a matter of closest.  It has to do with who can and cannot use the milk.  For example, a lot of milk that would be bottled at Garelick – Bangor, in the wintertime, is shipped to Massachusetts, or to the two Portland dairies, in summertime.  This is because demand drops when school lets out, and Bangor simply cannot use the milk.

      It also gets complicated because supply and demand both expand and contract, but the size of a cow’s udder, a farmer’s bulk tank, the tank trailer used to haul the milk, and even the silos at the creamery, all have a capacity.  And poor Bessie the cow, especially suffers, when capacity is exceeeded.

      The surpluses also result in farmers being assigned quotas – they get a certain price up to a certain amount of production, but a lower price for the excess.  This results in farmers culling herds, because it doesn’t make sense to produce for less money, and still have the higher costs associated with a larger herd.  Then when demand soars, the farmers’ herds cannot make up the gap the next day – cows have to be bred, heifers have to be born and grow up, or cows have to be purchased.

      There really is nothing simple about the distribution of milk.  It is a just-in-time business, all the way.

      •  Thank you Buddy..so I imagined..ups the ante and the risk for our local dairy farmers when the distance to processors ( and demand) is greater…as if it wasn’t tough enough already.

  • Anonymous

    I can tell you all this – there is no stable milk market…….. Especially in New England,  and Nationwide it falling short. Mr. Perkin’s worries are legitimate on shipping and costs / monthly pay.  

    Maine’s and Upper New England’s cost to produce a gallon of milk are SO MUCH HIGHER than other areas of country.  To lose a buyer that close to home – truly hurts.

    The drought this season, Nationwide,  is truly going to show that in next few months – for every food product we purchase that is relying on corn, wheat, soybeans, and oats – shipped feed/high quality hay.

    All beef, chicken, turkey – dairy products………….. bread – even rice produced here in State’s is going to be through roof in cost. And no-one hurts more than New England when it comes to shipped feed costs for livestock to produce. Our growing season too short – and weather too unpredictable,  so most is shipped.  That affects your bottom line with a herd in production – and overhead costs.

    I can say that from being in the ” feedbelt” / Midwest and  in business myself raising beef cattle – and having dairy herd of period of 12 yrs.  And I from Maine – there by accident………….grew up with farming here. It took me one season to see the differences in costs…………. the benefit of having 3 – 4 cuts of – and have alfalfa and clover with minimal frost kill……….. and that corn/oats/wheat –  raised right there……….and market – in same town.

    The estimates they gave this Spring of food costs rising by 20% this year – are going to be worse – due to the drought that happened, no-one guessed WOULD happen,  and fuel costs that already stock market planning to see – this past March…….. over $5 by Jan 2013 , as Nationwide average…………  We all know in Maine – that our fuel costs are quite a bit higher than Nationwide average………. cars/and heating.

    Apply that to grain shipped in from St. Louis or Nebraska,  or a need to purchase alfalfa/clover shipped in from Nebraska or the Dakota’s to feed all winter.

    Farmer’s that do with livestock invest thousands of dollars to have the best producer’s they can – and try to feed them the best that they do their potential – and try to breed back to keep those lines going.  It a huge investment – and a love to do.  And there are no day’s off – Holidays………. breaks……. you choose to do it.

    To be a dairy farmer here or raise beef cattle, is about the equivalent of risking all and selling your soul on a hope and a prayer at moment .

    • Thank you fort this eloquent and well informed testimony.  I hope every Maine legislator and every Maine milk consumer reads  it..

  • Anonymous

    I also spent time in Canada  – and they have a ” quota system ” which is a whole different ballgame……  every supplier purchases shares to produce.  You don’t produce – you lose……

  • Anonymous

    WHIT  don’t you reread what you write??  Writing under photo. and calls her by name as he walks one of his cow barns on his Charleston farm.   shouldn’t it be barn cows??

    • Anonymous

       Perkins has barns with cows in them, generally refereed to as ” cow barns”.

      • Anonymous

        Never knew you could walk a barn

        • sassyfrazz

          “Dairy farmer Dick Perkins pets one of his Holsteins and calls her by name as he walks one of his cow barns on his Chaleston dairy farm on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012.”

          When they say “as he walks one of his cow barns…” it’s implied that he walks *the length of *one of his cow barns.

          • Anonymous

            Sorry didn’t know he had more than 1 barn.

  • Anonymous

    What is this Liberal comment ?????????????  Honestly.

    Because – when in you in business for yourself, and most definitely – THIS TYPE of business – which is what the gentleman of this article IS  – you most definitely,  are rarely a LIBERAL. 

    Do some research on costs – and what available to a dairy farmer in LIBERAL programs to do/succeed – you will find there not much social help to accomplish.  { and most wouldn’t accept if there were } 

    • Anonymous

      Liberal ‘ I’m here to help you’ agriculture policies have crushed the family farm and corporate agriculture is adjusting accordingly. 

      ….Don’t believe me; go to any USDOA presentation of some new grant program and see if you can a. understand all the requirements,  b. can afford the consultants who will help you fill out the paperwork in a CHANCE you might get a grant, and c. can figure out who you’re not going to pay to come up with your match to the grant.

      • Anonymous

        Really………………….  How big is your Farm – and your operation – are you one of those 100% liberal organic operators ?????????????  Because to accomplish that – you have to have receipts to show to get those grants- subsidies – and they won’t cover your arse if you sued.

        I agree with concept of organic……… but in reality – do you want to run risk of not vaccinating a cow or goat for TB, or blue tongue – and selling milk ??????????? You better have an insurance policy that covers multi million coverage if you don’t – as both are coming back into life. Just like whooping cough and small pox are – as people not vaccinating themselves.

        • Anonymous

          Then don’t drink it; you still have that choice— esp. if your immune system is as compromised as it appears to be.

      • Simplifying the paper work would be so much help for the small farmer.

        It would hurt the large corporate farms.

        Therein lies the rub.

        Fascism is more aptly named corporatism as it is the merger of corporations and govt.

        Roberto Mussolini

  • Anonymous

    Back when Grant’s sold out I remember saying to my wife-“Garelick-really?  That  seemed more like the name of a disease a  cow could acquire rather than the milk that comes from the cow. We used to have Pleasant Hill and Footman’s over in Brewer as well as many other small local dairies that bottled their own milk. Local always seemed better and more folksy.
            It appears that milk is much like other commodities such as gas or heating oil: it originates from almost anywhere and can have almost any name on it when it hits the consumer market. I really wonder about Oakhurst’s claims pertaining to their cows not having this or that fed to them when it appears that they buy on the open market too. Who knows?

    • Anonymous

      The farmers have to sign an affidavit.  Yeah, I know, the farmer can sign anything – but it is something.  Samples are taken at the dairy from the truck before acceptance.  They check for quite a few things, and yes, they do reject milk, and yes, they do drop farmers as producers.

    • Anonymous

      .” I really wonder about Oakhurst’s claims pertaining to their cows not
      having this or that fed to them when it appears that they buy on the
      open market too. Who knows?”

      Same can be said for “organic” , never really know whats in it. But they all signed an contract/agreement, thats the only protection

      “The farmers have to sign an affidavit.  Yeah, I know, the farmer can sign anything – but it is something. “

  • Anonymous

    The same guy who compensated Black Farmers allegedly discriminated against as a class in violation of civil rights ethics, and did nothing to save New England’s failing family dairy farms?  
    …maybe all you drink is beer? 

    • Anonymous

      Get a GRIP – this isn’t politics – it simple economics since we settled this country in 1700’s……………….. literally.  You an organic gardener,  should understand.

  • sassyfrazz

    “Garelick Farms bought Grant’s Dairy in 1994. At the time, Garelick was a local dairy company in Massachusetts. It left Bangor largely independent, leaving the local management team intact, including Benjamin Grant, who had been president of Grant’s Dairy since 1981. Garelick also invested in a new, state-of-the-art dairy production facility in Bangor, which opened in 1995, according to an article in the Bangor Daily News at the time.”

    “Then a company called Suiza, which went on to become Texas-based Dean Foods, purchased Garelick Farms in 1997.”

    Ahhh yes. Good old-fascist…oops…”old-fashioned” capitalism.  I can hear the gulp of the big fish swallowing the little one now.

  • When Hood dropped 10 Maine organic dairy farmers back in 2008 the farmers united and formed the MOOMilk Company. They’re going to be showing a documentary about it in Brewer:  bangorbytes.com/2012/11/river-city-cinema-presents-moomilk.html

    •  Thank you for this..glad to know Hannaford’s is carrying MOOMilk and will ask my island store and Tradewinds in Blue Hill to carry it.  Also look forward to seeing the documentary which will be shown down here in Stonington and is making the rounds I think.

      • Anonymous

        They have tours of farms; get your information first hand instead of filtered through those ‘alleged’ documentaries. try the www.mainecheeseguild.org/ to find local ones.

        • Thanks..actually I get my information and my food from my own extensive organic gardens and from other local growers of meat, dairy & produce at their farms.

          Thanks for the link..good to promote community awareness of local growers.

  • It looks like Dick is employing illegal aliens to save a buck and he’s whining? This guy is a racist and a disgrace to this great state!

    • Anonymous

       Maybe if the natives were willing to work…..

      • Can’t disagree with that considering 70% of this state is on disability. The first of the month is welfare christmas around here and then you have this Rolando character earning $1.50 an hour and happy to be making it.

        • See Farmageddon on hulu online.  Over a million dollars spent to shut down a small farm producing milk from sheep. Yikes, no wonder WE are broke. Such a mismanagement of tax payer’s dollars. After all the sheep were killed for supposed Mad Cow Disease, a lawsuit showed no disease present. Each member of the  family who owned the farm were watched …including children. SWAT teams going into families’ homes who produce raw milk. Freedom?  Or just paving the way for large corporations with large donations to control the milk market.

  • Gee, ‘ya think that a man who makes his living sending US jobs to China is going to help with our food crisis in the US? Who thinks govt . agencies like FEMA are a waste of money? Who pays 13 % of his income in taxes and wants the poorest of the poor to pay more?

    I think Romney / Ryan would be happy if the poor and elderly just died out.

  • Anonymous

    In New Brunswick, a customer pays about $7.00 gal milk, I think that’s about twice theprice in Maine  and New Brunswick residents complain about how ‘cheap’ milk is in the U.S.!

    REALITY CHECK:  Maine had 51,000 herds of dairy cattle in the 1950s. Today there are 304. Vermont has similar statistics.

    Quebec has many prosperous dairy farms large and small…just drive from Meganticook(sic) to Quebec City and you’ll see what fair prices for milk can do for dairy farming.

    • Anonymous

       51,00 herds? 51,000 cows maybe. But the overall milk production hasn’t dropped much in the last few yrs.

      And your right, $7 a gallon is the right price  in New Brunswick. Also gas is 1.25 a liter.

      • Anonymous

        It was a quote directly from a year old PPH article…waddya expect?   It probably was cows, but herd size fluctuates a lot. 

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