COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- Michigan's dairy industry is growing and WZZM 13 is taking a closer look at the tight competition for farmland.
Dairy farmer Randy Tenbrink will eventually hand off the family farm to his daughter, Mary. However, for now, he's passing along advice about the changing industry.
"There is a problem with everybody trying to expand," says Tenbrink.
Tenbrink says small or middle-sized farms like his are having trouble expanding, when many times larger farms offer more money for the same land.
"Buying land is getting harder and we definitely feel the competition of larger farms being able to pay more than we can," says Tenbrink.
"We're probably going to have to get bigger in order to support two families, but having that crisis, if you will, with the land it concerns me," says Marty Costigan, Tenbrink's daughter.
Not only do some of the small and middle-size farms have problems expanding, but also finding the proper workforce.
Specifically, the issue is qualified part-time workers.
"We rely on high school to college-age kids and it's difficult to find those willing to put in the long hours, the early hours," says Costigan.
However, in one big way, Mary and her father consider themselves fortunate, because they already have a farm and are not starting fresh.
"To do today what we did in 1979, I'm not sure we could," says Tenbrink. "It does make it harder for the start up farms."