Home 5 Ag Stories Changes in dairy industry, unlike milk, are hard to swallow

Changes in dairy industry, unlike milk, are hard to swallow

Photo by Anna Hastert

On the first day of the Iowa State Fair, I decided to enter myself in the Milk Chug-A-Lug competition. After a couple of cartons of chocolate milk, I had a chance to talk to a gentleman who grew up on a dairy farm which no longer exists.

Audio: Interview with “Ron from Clive”.

A man who only wanted to be identified as “Ron from Clive” smoked me in the chugging contest, but we had the chance to chat about the dairy industry. He told me the family dairy farm he grew up has long since been swallowed up by the city of Dubuque. However, even though he has left the agriculture industry, he has relatives who are still out there farming.

Ron expressed his sadness over the challenges he sees dairy farmers facing now. He remembers with fondness how enjoyable it was for the family to operate their farm. He feels that the downturn in the dairy economy is cheating people out of the experience he had growing up.

Ron talked about what he loved about growing up on the farm. He says the flexibility you had when there was downtime was great, but the trade-off was a lot of hard work.

So, what is Ron’s secret to downing two milk cartons in seven seconds?

Not to be outdone, the winner of the first Chug-A-Lug was Clair Nuehring of Marion. This youngster gives us her keys to success.

Audio: Full Interview with Claire Nuehring of Marion, IA

Claire Nuehring, Round 1 Chug A Lug Winner. Photo by Anna Hastert