A modern dairy farm is incredibly productive. Fulper Farms in West Amwell Township, New Jersey, own 135 cows, which produce over 8,000 pounds of milk. But if you think that sounds like a lucrative business, think again:
According to a recent article in The New York Times, modern dairy farms "represent many of the volatile and confusing trends that have roiled the U.S. economy over the last decade." Dairy farming used to be a steady, stable business, but now it's almost entirely dependent on factors outside the farm's control, like China's economic growth, the price of gas and how it will be influenced by events in Iran and Syria, and whether or not New Zealand, a major exporter, will have a drought, which would send milk prices skyrocketing.
All of this has created dairy farming's own 1 percent: "That tiny sliver of massive farms, with thousands of cows, that make the biggest profits and are better equipped to pay agriculture-futures experts to help them manage risk. They continue to invest and grow. Unable to keep up with the changes, many smaller farms have gone out of business in the past decade."
Read More: Even Dairy Farming Has a 1 Percent at The New York Times
(Image: Kathryn Hill)