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Lodi-area dairies feel the pinch of reduced prices and lower demand

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Posted: Friday, February 6, 2009 10:00 pm

Cathy Kaehler maneuvers a well-worn and embattled golf cart among the herds of dairy cows that populate her family's Lodi farm. Uncertain about the future of the business that has consumed her family's life for the past 50 years, Kaehler mutters, "I'm getting too old for this."

Kaehler, in her faded blue coveralls and with her grumpy and protective Queensland heeler Izzy by her side, devotes 12 or more hours of her day to a farm that is running non-stop. Kaehler's 700 cows require milking twice a day, making the line to the milking machines an endless procession. The recent decline in dairy prices has placed an even heavier burden on Kaehler and the other dairy farmers in San Joaquin County.

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