Maine's dairy farmers fear the closing of one of the state's major milk processors could mean a financial hit for every farmer. (Click here to read a previous story about the plant's closure.) Maine's 306 remaining dairy farms each receive a small bonus payment each month from the Maine Milk Pool. That pool is funded by a 13-cents-per-gallon fee paid by Maine milk processors.
People in the milk business say the recent closing of the Garelick Farms dairy processing plant in Bangor could take as much as $600,000 away from the pool this year.
They say those Garelick farmers are likely to end up sending their milk out of state now, instead of to a Maine-based processor. Out-of-state processors don't pay any fee into the pool.
Oakhurst Dairy, the largest in-state milk processor, is stepping in to offer some help, according to WCSH 6.
Oakhurst has launched a special publicity campaign called "Keep Your Milk in Maine." The company says it wants consumers to know what's happening and hopes the effort will persuade more people to buy milk from Maine companies, to help prevent big cuts to the milk pool.
Click here to see a website, including a video featuring several farmers, that Oakhurst has created to explain the milk pool situation to consumers. PD
—From WCSH 6 (Click here to view the WCSH 6 TV segment.)