When IJ launched its case, Joseph and Brenda Cochran operated a dairy farm in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, which is located in the north-central part of the state. They tend to about 200 cows on roughly 900 acres of land, 200 of which they own and 700 of which they rent. Dairy farming has been in Joe’s family for three generations.
The Cochrans are independent dairy farmers. They are not members of any dairy manufacturing or marketing cooperative. They market their milk themselves, and they alone determine how much to produce, how to sell it, and to whom it will be sold. Each year, they independently negotiate with the various processing plants who purchase their milk. They would be perfectly happy if the government would leave dairy farmers alone and let them produce, market and sell their milk themselves.