In the late 1990’s many dairy producers were frustrated with existing milk markets and we decided to start a new system that was farmer based and grass roots driven. We held many meetings in Wisconsin and traveled to New York - Pennsylvania about 12-15 times to meet with existing plants and marketing coops, and to develop milk marketing coops where none existed. The idea was to group all dairies together into one common marketing organization to price milk.
Scenic Central Milk Prod. Co-op evolved out of this desire to create new and bind existing plants and milk co-ops by a marketing agency in common. This concept was started by the American Raw Milk Prod. Assn(ARMPA), and helped by Family Farm Defenders.
We patterned ourselves after the Allied Federated Co-op in New York. They had about 20 marketing co-ops under one umbrella. They shared haulers, one central office, fieldmen, and sales, but all had their own board of directors.
We decided to start our own marketing co-op in WI. Our main objective was to return all monies possible to the producer. We were incorporated in Sept. 1998. We started marketing milk with 16 producers in Richland Co. I had dairy experience being raised on a dairy farm and working for National Farmers Org. who pretty much invented collective bargaining in dairy. We had only volunteers but the co-op grew slowly and steadily. Our first markets were Arena Cheese and Cedar Grove Cheese-both which we continue to sell today.After the first year we started another co-op in Northeastern WI. called Packerland Dairy. They have their own board of directors but all producers are Scenic members.
We are now on our second accounting firm, our third bank, and no original haulers left-we demand good service for a fair price. We continue to operate at less than 1%of sales, have no debt, and return all monies to producers.
Founding General Manager (Retired)
Scenic Central Milk