Middlebury Cooperative Milk Producers Association Inc. was established in 1938, and bargained through the Metropolitan Cooperative Milk Producers Bargaining Agency, Inc. The members delivered milk to the M.H. Renkin Dairy Company located in Middlebury Center, PA., changing later to the North East Dairy Cooperative Federation.
With the disintegration of the Federation in 1985 Middlebury Cooperative membership plummeted from 100 members to 0, and remained inactive for over a year. In 1986 Dietrich's Milk Products from Reading, bought the idle Middlebury Plant, modernized it, and started processing milk.
With the opening of a local plant, the opportunity was great for negotiating high premiums and low hauling. Middlebury Co-op took advantage of the possibilities and reorganized the local Middlebury Co-p. In reorganizing the new Co-op, policies were set forth to have it run by dairy farmers in the local area, with the knowledge of markets, and local wants and needs. There was to be no plants, stores, or any major capital investments made. Virtually eliminating the chances of assessing our members. Excess moneys above operating costs, have been returned to our members at the end of each year.
With 3 members in December of 1986 we have skyrocketed to approximately 130 in 1996. With the increased membership and volume of milk our bargaining position has strengthened tremendously. With our low overhead and the advantages of local markets and local milk for those markets, we have held our premiums high, and our hauling low, leaving our members with the greatest net return in the area.