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Big Corporations Drive Stenslands Out of Selling Milk

Kristi Noem has complained about thieving corporate meatpackers. Maybe she needs to go on the warpath against big corporate milk-packers, who have apparently driven Larchwood, Iowa, dairy Stensland Family Farms out of bottling milk:

Leah Stensland, with Stensland Family Farms said inflation played a significant role in the decision.

“With today’s labor costs, and material costs, and all of that and honestly getting choked out by the big corporate companies. Milk prices have skyrocketed, and we just cannot get the value we need out of the product anymore,” said Leah Stensland, Stensland Family Farms.

…Stensland Family Farms last bottling day will officially be September 6th, with last deliveries to various retail locations on September 8th [Baylee Peterson, “Stensland Family Farms to Discontinue Bottling Milk,” KSFY, 2023.08.29].

In January, Food and Water Watch published a report noting that 83% of milk sales are marketed by three big dairy coops: DFA, Land O’ Lakes, and California Dairies, that only 30% of U.S. milk is produced on family-scale farms (those with fewer than 500 dairy cows; Stensland’s herd is 200+), and that from 1997 to 2017, the U.S. lost 64% of its family-scale dairies

The Stensland Dairy will focus on producing ice cream, cheese curds, and other non-liquid products.

Related Dairy News: Dairy Queen will be promoting its fall flavors by offering Blizzards for 85 cents (!!!) September 11–24. But you can only get the deal through the DQ app on your phone.


  1. e platypus onion 2023-08-30

    Milk prices have skyrocketed, A gallon of frothy moo juice @ WalMart (Spencer, iowa) last Wednesday was exactly $2.50 American.

  2. John 2023-08-30

    Big dairy will die next; unless they adapt to cultivated milk production. Milk is 87% water. Numerous companies are going commercial selling milk and dairy products produced without fermenting through the four-chamber cows stomach. The entire dairy industry and its input providers (feed, fertilizers, manure processing, etc.) will not survive in its 19th century cow-based business model. Stensland Dairy should be grateful that it’s getting out of the business while it’s able to. Precision fermentation will disrupt the industry.

  3. larry kurtz 2023-08-30

    The Kroger/Albertsons merger is causing significant heartburn among policymakers here in New Mexico but we’re blessed Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers and a local coop where organic milk is abundant so the impact will be more in food deserts in rural communities.

  4. larry kurtz 2023-08-30

    There are also two Sprouts in Santa Fe, a sprawling farmer’s market and roadside produce stands along nearly every byway.

  5. P. Aitch 2023-08-30

    Who drinks milk once reaching adulthood? Only Northern Europeans and that’s the same group that’s not having children.
    PS – Remember when a SD Governor took a business trip trying to convince a country (China) with a 90% lactose intolerance rate to buy the low-quality mozzarella, frozen pizza cheese made in SD?

    Here’s a world chart, with a groovy picture, of worldwide lactose intolerance rates.

  6. Eve Fisher 2023-08-30

    And I am one of the lactose intolerant, being 100% Greek. I haven’t drunk milk since I was about 8 years old, and I had to quit eating ice cream back in my teens.
    I can eat goat / sheep’s cheese, but that’s it. Guess what? Oatmilk is great for cooking, and no lactose!

  7. John 2023-08-30

    P. Aitch: cooking, cheese for pizza, mac n cheese for the grandbrats, diluting coffee (the unappreciative), candies, etc. Most of the milk market is B to B, independent of fickle consumer imaginary prejudices.

    Glance at this note from Barry . . . laying out an example of market disruption. Exponential market disruption. Expect similar disruptions from cultivated milk, cultivated solid protein (formerly beef, poultry), EVs, solar, row crops, modified-DNA treatments for some ailments, etc.
    Recognize the change, adapt, or do like Stensland Dairy and get out of the way.

  8. e platypus onion 2023-08-30

    Higher milkfat is allegedly better for ulcers/acid reflux sufferers.

  9. All Mammal 2023-08-30

    I drink a gallon of whole milk every 5 or 6 days. I am 6 ft tall and come from a milk chugging famn damily. It is a very spoiled white baby who demands mother’s milk passed 30 years old. I imagine not so far back, when the first human attempted to extract milk from a female milch animal for an adult to drink, it must have been from a yak. And then, to come up with curdling the yak milk first..? That takes some richness. Some 30 year old with a full set of teeth screaming at his mom, “I want to nurse on curdled yak yogurt now, Mother!”

    Bwwwrrr. Yep. That’s white. I better add yogurt to my grocery list

  10. e platypus onion 2023-08-30

    Back when I was a child, our family got 6 wide mouth gallon jars of fresh milk from a farmer friend. The jars went into the refrigerator and we skimmed yellow cream the next day for use on cereal and for cooking. Was a weekly occurence. Sure was yummy.

  11. All Mammal 2023-08-30

    My sister in Washington still has a milkman. It gets left on the step in a caddy a couple times a week. She washes out the glass bottles and puts them back outside.

    There are numerous innovations we could adopt that are actually regressions, like the milkperson practice. Washington state is doing many practical things I think could work here if we realized that being smart might actually require caring for other people and the environment, along with getting out of the right-wing rut. I don’t know why easing more towards the middle is so scary.

    My uncles resisted the dairy co-op, at first. Now, they brag about how well they’re doing. I am happy for them, even though I cringe hearing about it from a guy wearing a Trump cap.

  12. e platypus onion 2023-08-30

    I used to ride with the local milkman as he made his deliveries in the 60s. I’d take one place, he would get another so he got done sooner and all ir cost was a gallon of Beep Juice. Anyone remember Beep Juice?

  13. grudznick 2023-08-30

    grudznick quaffs milk regularly at breakfasting events. You want a good milk burp? Sit next to me on a Sunday morning after the Opening Rant.

  14. P. Aitch 2023-08-30

    Colonizers tolerate bovine lactose like Mexicans tolerate polluted water. Through generations of exposure.

  15. grudznick 2023-08-30

    Mr. P.h, we know you drink Strawberry Quick before bedtime.

  16. larry kurtz 2023-08-30

    Pesticides are one of the most commonly found contaminants, not only in raw cow’s milk but also after the pasteurization and UHT process. Their presence in milk, even below the maximum permitted levels, represents a health risk to the consumer. It is related to Hodgkin’s disease (HD), non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption, respiratory and reproductive disorders, among others. 187

    It is important to note that organochlorine pesticides such as hexachlorocyclohexane, dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane, and endosulfane are still present despite having been banned since the 1970s because of their high persistence in the environment and their harmful effects on human health, 188 are still detected in cow’s milk. This indicates that they are still used in agriculture and animal husbandry. With a few exceptions (cyhalothrin, cypermethrin, fenvalerate, deltamethrin, permethrin, and diazinonella), the vast majority of pesticides found in cow’s milk are not regulated by Codex and the EU. This demonstrates the low efficiency of the regulatory controls of these contaminants in the unprocessed and post-processed product, leading to an inefficient safety of this food product.

  17. P. Aitch 2023-08-30

    grudz – Just thinking about drinking milk and my toilet paper sits up and gets ready. But, knowing more about its intricacies than most consumers, gourmet cheese is a passion of mine. Having never had a sweet tooth a cheese and fruit plate is my favorite dessert. I even make it a point to get to the market early to be there when the cheese monger discounts the really good stuff that has to be eaten that day. French Camembert by Murray’s, usually $25.00 per pound is often $2.00 for eight ounces, on sale. I’ll buy five or six and freeze them for accompaniment to special bottles of wine. I use lots of cream in my sauces with no gastric distress, but a glass of milk hasn’t passed my tongue in decades. I consider eschewing milk to be just another development of a mature palette.

  18. P. Aitch 2023-08-30

    And remember, grudz. You can’t spell P. AItch without AI.

  19. Bob Newland 2023-08-30

    As Alex Karras once said about quarterbacks on Johnny Carson: “They’re blue-eyed milk drinkers and I hate ’em all.”

  20. DaveFN 2023-08-30

    larry kurtz

    “…leading to an inefficient safety of this food product.”

    What the hay does that even mean??

    You would do better to question rather than cite if you’re going to masquerade as a scientist wannabe.

  21. DaveFN 2023-08-30

    Engineers are in no way scientists and are at best servants and puppets of capitalism. Scientists with their questions and investigations serve to subvert the capitalist enterprise as their research opens onto unknowns which dissettle the capitalist enterprise. Which in large part explains why engineers are paid more than the demon scientists within a capitalist system.

  22. All Mammal 2023-08-31

    DaveFN- I think you may have misunderstood the premise of science. See, science is not exclusive. You may have earned some official title and degree, which is amazing and congratulations, but that does not mean you are entitled to a monopoly on talking about science on Mr. H’s comments section. That’s like telling Faraday he isn’t allowed to try out his experiments because he has no credentials. Pretty innovative stuff can and does come from the work of autodidactic minds. Don’t hate, congratulate amateurs.

    If you can only stand it when intellectuals you approve of chat on scientific topics, perhaps join a private club where you have to wear a lab coat to participate.

  23. grudznick 2023-08-31

    Cheese is good. Cheese fixes things.

  24. DaveFN 2023-09-01

    All Mammal

    Any monopoly about science exists only in your imaginary mind.

    Premise of science? Another imaginary mind construct. Join your own private navel-staring club.

  25. All Mammal 2023-09-01

    DaveFN- Scientifically, our bellybuttons used to be our mouths(: now we just use them for our sunshine stash pocket. Not that kind of ‘stache.

  26. P. Aitch 2023-09-01

    DaveFN aka Kurt Evans has a pretty jagged stick up his ass, huh? 😂😂😂

  27. Dicta 2023-09-01

    Engineers are, at best, puppets of capitalism? What an insanely reductive and arrogant take. Who the hell made you the arbiter of scientific inquiry, dingus?

  28. All Mammal 2023-09-01

    He carved it himself.

  29. Arlo Blundt 2023-09-01

    I like milk…period. Milk and Ginger Snaps, now tell anything better?? Oat Milk is a great new invention as well….tastes a bit like goat milk to me.

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