‘Painful evolution’: Farmers trade in dairy cows for almond trees

The Washington Times

California’s oldest dairy farm is banking on a new source of milk, having traded its cows for almond trees. The Giacomazzi Dairy’s radical shift is reflective of America’s shrinking dairy market, where historically low milk prices, the trade war with China and efficient technologies have made it nearly impossible for small farmers to make a profit. “The dairy industry was always a roller coaster ride, but now it is broken,” Dino Giacomazzi told The Washington Times about the decision to change production at his family’s 126-year-old farm in Hanford, which until last month had as many as 2,000 milk-producing cows. Milk has been a staple in the American diet and U.S. economy for decades, and the farmers who produce it make up one of the nation’s oldest regulated industries. Last year, they sold about $35 billion worth of milk.