The average 1000-cow dairy farm in California loses tens of thousands of dollars a month.
Feed costs are through the roof because of the drought.
The government's price of milk is way below what it costs to produce a gallon of milk, and below the cost in neighboring states.
“To us it's been a blood bath. You see yourselves working harder...maintaining feed... health,” explains Lemoore Dairy Farmer Barbara Martin.
Dairy farmers like Barbara Martin of “Dairy Goddess” want Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross to boost the regulated milk price.
They're asking processors, not consumers to give up their fair share.
They say the entire industry is at stake.
“I'm 3rd generation. My son wants to be 4th. Daughter wants too to be a part of it, and there's no guarantee we will have this farm,” Martin says.
Hundreds of dairies have gone under in recent years.
Of 1600 dairies in California, hundreds have filed bankruptcy in recent years.
40 from the valley have gone under in the last few months.
Dozens more are selling.
Tom Mendes lost millions of dollars and gave up his herd in Riverdale after 32 years.
“The state of the industry got so bad that I decided it was best for me to get out while I still had equity left,” Mendes says.
He says no matter the outcome at the capitol, it's too late for him.
“It was kind of a government freight train coming at us,” Mendes says.
Assemblyman David Valadao is also a third generation farmer.
He's been pressuring the Department of Ag for years to make vital changes.
“This is crazy we've got people in the dairy business for a 100 years...quitting, retiring, filing bankruptcy. It's just getting out of hand,” Valadao says.
The Secretary of Agriculture has already turned down dairymen three times in the last year and a half.