Dairy farmers are left behind again

Arden Tewksbury
Arden Tewksbury

According to many officials in Washington DC, the economy in the United States is really taking off. This may be true. Maybe millions of people will be benefiting from the new tax bill. However, who is being left behind?

I don’t hear anything from DC from either party that will benefit area dairy farmers. What politicians must realize is, that dairy farmers do not want a hand out from anyone. All they want is a fair price for the nutritional milk their great dairy animals produce. This milk is one of the most nutritional foods that consumers need.

Now is the time that dairy farmers support the efforts of the people that really want to generate a fair price for all dairy farmers.

There are certain things that Congress and the USDA can and must do.

1) Congress could and should peg the Class I price and all Federal Orders at least at $20 per cwt. (hundred pounds).

2) An alternate to number one, would be for Congress to place a floor price under all milk used to manufacture dairy products. This could be done in two increments, and reach $20 per cwt.

3) The USDA should and must call a national milk hearing and give the dairy farmers a chance to testify.

4) Sooner, not later, the industry must give credence to a reasonable milk supply management program that is fair to everyone.  

5) Members of Congress and the USDA must answer the question, “Why does the Federal Milk Marketing Orders Formula allow a make allowance (nearly $2 per cwt.) to be credited to milk handlers when they convert milk into dairy products, but neither the USDA nor Congress will listen to a cost of production formula for dairy farmers?”  Isn’t this a double standard, with dairy farmers being on the short end of the stick again?

6)  Advertising and promoting milk: Let’s be honest, while neither of the two major political parties have been fair to the American dairy farmers. However, the past administration certainly did harm to our dairy farmers by developing unwise standards for our school lunch program. Don’t they realize that the present school lunch program is ruining future milk drinkers by not having good tasting whole milk?  

All dairy farmers must immediately confer with members of Congress and the current administration to correct the inequities in the school lunch program; especially milk. It’s high time that schools be allowed to have the choice to serve whole milk, both white and flavored. Whole milk certainly belongs in our school lunch program. Please get after all of our elected or appointed officials.

Do you need a reason to do the above? The reason is that the milk you produce in December and January will go way below $17 per cwt. It’s time to get with it.