Bought milk? You could get money

Bought milk? You could get money

A controversial program that slaughtered cows after buying out dairy farms as a means to reduce milk production is ending in a multimillion dollar payout to consumers.

Wisconsin is called the dairy state for good reason.

“Most people in Wisconsin are milk consumers,” Patrick Carey explained as he shopped for milk at Miller and Sons in Verona.

Carey, a father of six said he raised his kids on it and spent thousands on milk while they were growing up. Now, like many, he is eligible to get money back.

“Anybody that bought some dairy bought some milk from 2003 to 2010 can claim some damages,” Bob Cropp, a UW-Madison economist, said.

It’s all because of a class action lawsuit which was recently settled out of court for $52 million. It accused the “Herd Retirement Program” run by Cooperatives Working Together of conspiring to kill cows to keep prices high. While Cropp, an expert witness for the milk producers, admits the program was used to reduce milk supply and stabilize prices he said the reason was far less cruel.

“It was a nice way for them to exit out of the dairy business if they decided to do that, my take is the impact on the actual milk price for the consumer, pretty minimal,” Cropp said.

In total nearly 3,000 farms were bought out resulting in the slaughter of more than 500,000 cows,over seven years. It’s unclear how much money consumers will get back. Cropp estimates between $10 to $70 dollars. More than 15 states are involved to be eligible you must apply at by the end of the month.

You’re also eligible if you bought other dairy products like yogurt, sour cream, or even cottage cheese.