January 25, 2015

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

Google wants to be your phone company
Google wants to be your phone company

New reports suggest that Google is teaming up with Sprint and T-Mobile to offer wireless service directly to customers.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

What would make you willing to change your cellular phone service?

  • Lower price per month
  • More data / faster service
  • Great deal on a better phone
  • Nothing, because the fee to break contract is too high
  • Nothing. I am quite happy with my current plan.

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe