April 18, 2014

Agriculture

Dairy Farms in Decline

Cynthia Barnett | 2/1/2008

Nels and Marilyn Siverson owned the Hidden Hammock Dairy Farm in southern Marion County for nearly 25 years, building up what began as their children’s 4-H project into a career operation that produced some 6,000 gallons of milk a day.

But in December, the Siversons shuttered Hidden Hammock, the last dairy farm in Marion County. They cited environmental regulations that would require them to spend up to $2 million on upgrades to wastewater systems. “We were determined to keep it going, but we couldn’t make the numbers work,” says Siverson.

Statistics show dairy is in decline all over Florida:

  • Statewide, the number of milk producers is declining at a rate of around 6% a year, according to a University of Florida report.
  • About 25% of Florida’s milk is now imported, according to the state agriculture department.

The Siversons plan to sell off most of their 440 acres. They say they will keep 100 acres or so and try their hand with a small herd of Wagyu — Japanese beef cattle — and jump on the local-grown food movement.

Tags: Northeast, Agriculture

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Okeanos Explorer 2014
Okeanos Explorer 2014

NOAA's ship, Okeanos Explorer, carrying scientists and the ROV Deep Discoverer (D2), has arrived at site “Northwest Gulf Mid-Depth." Today (4/17/2014), the ROV will visit two Monterrey shipwrecks. Deployment of the ROV is planned for 0930 Eastern, arriving at the seafloor around 1030. Click above to watch the adventure unfold or go here for more info.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Amazon will begin charging Florida residents sales tax on May 1, 2014. How will this affect your online shopping at Amazon?

  • I will buy less from Amazon
  • This won't change my Amazon shopping
  • I don't shop at Amazon

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe