An Outlook-based dairy has plans to sell to an out-of-state owner.
DeRuyter Brothers Dairy co-owner Genny DeRuyter told the Capitol Press earlier this week that a deal had been reached with an out-of-state owner for the 1,000-acre dairy.
“Due to confidentiality reasons, I won’t have any comments,” DeRuyter wrote in an email in response to a Yakima Herald-Republic inquiry about the sale.
Many in the industry heard about the sale through an email from the Toppenish Livestock Commission announcing the cancellation of a May 31 auction for DeRuyter Bros.’ 3,100 Holsteins.
The commission canceled the auction last week after it heard from the company about the sale, said Chad Lowry, a partner with the commission.
“They were ready to retire and they were trying to sell the dairy for a little while,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday.
Lowry said he sees the sale as a positive move as it will keep the dairy in operation and its workers employed.
“It was a good, clean deal for Jake and Genny,” he said.
DeRuyter said in the Capitol Press that health concerns and a desire to retire were behind the decision to sell, but she also mentioned recent challenges, including an overtime pay lawsuit.
Two former workers sued the dairy in December, arguing that they worked nine to 12 hours a day, six days a week without rest breaks, meal periods and overtime pay. Attorneys for the workers hope a ruling in the workers’ favor also would end a provision in the state minimum wage law that made agricultural workers ineligible for overtime pay.
In March, DeRuyter Bros. again was in the news when a berm holding back runoff from snow and rain breached, inundating an Outlook neighborhood. The floodwater had traveled across a nearby field owned by another farmer that had recently been applied with manure as fertilizer.