Mornings come especially early on a dairy farm, and Daily Crisis Farm in Harford County, Maryland, is no exception. Every day farmer Dan Vaughan is in the barn at 5 a.m. for the day’s first round of milking. Vaughan, a Maryland Farm Bureau member, is back at 5 p.m. for more of the same, and usually wraps up by 8 p.m. In between milking sessions, there’s little time for anything other than caring for his cows, but Vaughan’s mind still wanders to the future of his farm and the handful of other family dairy farms left in Harford County.
“Unless things change in the next year or two, it’s going to be dramatically different than what it is now because most of the small farms are going to be gone,” Vaughan said.
This video, a project from University of Maryland ViewFinder photojournalists Alicia Cherem and Heather Kim, brings to life the day-in, day-out realities of dairy farming. The video touches upon the pride dairy farmers take in caring for the animals, as well as the weighty toll the struggles of the dairy industry are taking on family farmers like Vaughan.