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Dairy Report: Dairy Farmers Pay Employees More Than Ever Before

January 7, 2020

Anna-Lisa Laca

A recent survey from Farm Journal found employees across the agriculture industry continue to struggle to find and keep employees. The study found dairy producers are paying more now than they ever have before. 

The survey included more than 2,000 farmers, of which 160 were dairy producers. Of the surveyed dairy farmers, 87% of them a more than they did five years ago. In fact, one responded said an increase in mandatory pay and overtime regulations will force them to sell his farm.

While 58% of employers said they have raised wages to attract employees, very few offer employee benefits. Additionally, a handful of the surveyed producers milked their cows with robots but the majority didn’t. Most farmers surveyed said milking positions are the hardest to fill and retain.

Coca-Cola Buys fairlife

In other news this week, Coca-Cola announced it will buy the remaining fairlife shares, increasing their ownership position from 47% to 100%. The deal, in which details were not disclosed, removes any ownership position the cooperative Select Milk Producers had. 

Still, the cooperative says they will continue to work with fairlife, which operates as a stand-alone business based in Chicago, and sources close to the deal say Select Milk Producers members will retain a handful of seats on the fairlife board of directors.

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