Industries & Professions /
Dairy Products Manufacturing Workers
The 1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act (also known as the 1996 Farm Act) phased out price supports for agricultural produce. Only the larger, more financially sound farms were able to compete in international and domestic markets, and owners of many small farms consolidated with larger operations or left agricultural production. However, as of 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that 96 percent of the 2.2 million farms in the U.S. are family owned and operated. Farmer-owned and -operated cooperatives are developing new ways to market milk, dairy products, and other agricultural produce, and these efforts hold some promise for dairy and other farms. In addition, food processing is increasingly being automated, eliminating job growth and limiting wages for dairy products manufacturing workers.