Some shocking news out of Los Banos, from The Fresno Bee:
Visalia-based California Dairies Inc., the largest milk cooperative in the state, is shutting down its Los Banos factory, citing a decline in milk volume.
The plant that first started out as San Joaquin Valley Dairymen has been in operation since 1925. The shutdown will displace 63 workers and take about 60 days to ramp down production.
The past year delivered a mix of crushing legislation for the dairy industry. First, Democrats in Sacramento – with help from eight Assembly Republicans – approved an extension to California’s disastrous cap-and-trade program. Later in 2017, Democrats singlehandedly hiked the tax on gasoline and diesel.
Cap-and-trade is a particular soft spot for dairy farmers as they are consistently targeted by regulators. The cost of the gas tax hike, however, cannot be overlooked.
For their part, CDI’s CEO Andrei Mikhalevsky cited that high operating costs in Los Banos forced the closure of the plant and subsequent layoffs.