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Cutting cows and costs

Photo courtesy of Weiss Farm.

Photo courtesy of Weiss Centennial Farm.

A dairy farmer says 2016 has been a really tough year to be in business.

Fifth-generation farmer Roger Weiss milks 60 cows in Frankenmuth, near Michigan’s Thumb. He says they have made several updates in the last five years as the sixth-generation joined the farm and have had to take a hard look at ways to cut costs.

“The cows do not know what the price of milk is.”  He says, “You can’t expect them to say, ‘Well I’ll eat less quality feed and still give you the most milk because I know we’re having hard times.’—they don’t know that.”

Weiss says cows need to be well cared for no matter the price of milk and he’s had to reduce his herd size some to become more efficient.  “It’s a time now where if they’re not making me money we’ve got to do something about it, so we’ve actually reduced our herd by probably eight percent in the last six months.”

The Weiss Centennial Farm has also made several energy conservation improvements including installing an industrial gasification furnace and a 5 horsepower compressor which was recently recognized as a Michigan Governor’s Energy Excellence Award winning project.

AUDIO: Interview with Roger Weiss 

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