In June 2009, I expressed the disgust I share with Belle Fourche dairy man John Habeck about how the state, the banks, and the dairy industry have left small dairies for dead. Industry advocates like Vale-gone-Faulkton rancher Troy Hadrick have attacked the efforts of Habeck and others to market raw milk even while advocating less government oversight of government inspection of beef for E. coli.
Fortunately, Habeck and his wife Dawn have withstood the antipathy of state and industry and kept their small dairy operation afloat:
The couple, who own and operate a dairy farm eight miles north of Spearfish, have opened a store in the Farmer's Market, located in the historic red barn along Highway 14, in Spearfish to provide their products year round.
They said that it's been one of the best business decisions they've made so far.
Since opening their doors the first week in September, it's been nearly impossible to keep the shelves stocked.
The Red Barn Farmer's Market is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and to date, they've been going through 100 gallons of milk a day, and usually sell out before the doors close [Heather Murschel, "Black Hills Milk Opens Spearfish Location," Black Hills Pioneer, 2011.10.07].
The Habecks are making a go of it with 30 dairy cows (20 calves are on the way this winter). That's less than 1% of the livestock Michael Crinion thinks he needs to concentrate in Hanson County to add to his dairy wealth.
And I haven't seen any Spearfish neighbors keeling over from raw milk poisoning yet.