Dairy Farming in St Lawrence County: change and challenge


Newborn Frisian red.white calf by Uberprutser
St Lawrence County (upstate New York) in the 1950s had more than 5000 dairy farms, mostly family-owned. Everybody in the family had jobs and chores; they worked together as a team to keep the cows healthy and productive.

Just two decades later, there were only just over 2000 dairy farms operating.As technology advanced, farmers could do more, faster, better--but at a cost. The machinery and equipment needed to remain economically competitive was expensive.

The relationship between cows and people remained, but getting the milk to market became a business. Businesses require investment and a commitment to further growth; not every dairy farmer wanted to go that route.

In the article https://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/34238/2017710/north-country-at-work-morley-s-pat-dominie-on-a-century-of-change-in-dairying, retired farmer Pat Dominie recalls her life as a dairy farmer:

"All of Pat's kids, four sons and one daughter, were involved on the farm growing up. She says as soon as they were old enough to carry a pail of milk-replacer, each kid was responsible for feeding a calf. They did daily chores and were expected to contribute. 
"One of our biggest points of pride was that we instilled a work ethic in all of our kids. All of them have the same work ethic: you did it right the first time, you didn't cut corners." 

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