Local dairy farmer gives insight into milk shortage

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 11:38 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - If you’ve noticed some products aren’t in stock in some grocery stores and restaurants, you’re not alone. Some local stores say they’re seeing one product in particular facing these shortages: milk. But local dairy farmer Bryon Lehman owns and operates Le-Dr Dair Farm, near Newton, said it’s not an issue with the production of milk, but rather where the milk goes after it leaves the farm.

“We have all the raw milk that’s needed. It’s more of a labor problem and processing,” Lehman said. “Truck drivers, plastics, cartons, things like that.”

Lehman is on the corporate board of Dairy Farmers of America. He says the national issues with the supply chain and worker shortages are affecting dairy distribution.

“We’re no different out here on this farm. We can’t find the help that we need. We’re short of help,” Lehman said. “But every store you go to, every fast food, every restaurant, every store chain, people are just searching for good employees and they aren’t there. CDL drivers, they’re changing the national law now. And that’s going to hurt, getting drivers. We’re 80,000 semi drivers short in the United States now.”

Lehman said he doesn’t believe the shortage will be ending any time soon.

“I wish it would, but I just don’t see it,” he said.

Lehman said he loves what he does, but the issue nationwide will continue to have an immediate, local impact.

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