For Many Dairy Families, California is Home
August 7, 2020
Not All California Dairies Want to Move Out of State
By Tim Hammerich with the AgInfo.net
Some California dairies have decided to pick up and move their operations out of state due to heavy regulations and high costs of production. But others, like Tony Lopes in Gustine, remain committed to finding a way to profitably sustain their dairy in the state they call home.
“California is home. That's where my great grandparents immigrated from the Azores Islands, they found a home in this valley, and they were able to raise their family and their businesses here," said Lopes. "Now, when they were growing their businesses, regulatory environment, the way people viewed agribusiness versus today is very different. But for our family, and myself personally, I look to that almost as the challenge. Of saying, I want to be a dairy farmer in California. So I'm going to figure out how I can sculpt my business into what is necessary in order to be competitive and successful within California.”
Lopes is trying to build a model dairy by using data analytics, improving his employee retention and satisfaction, focusing on genetics, and diversifying. He hopes this will not only keep him ahead of constantly changing regulations, but also that customers will start voting for the types of local agribusinesses they want at the supermarket.