All hands on deck! Let’s do something for our dairy farmers

Arden Tweksbury
Manager of Pro-Ag
Arden Tewksbury

Agri-Mark dairy cooperative needs to be further congratulated for pulling off one of the greatest assemblies of dairy farmers and interested parties. The event was scheduled to give dairy farmers an opportunity to speak their peace, and they certainly spoke it real well.

However, now we can’t dilly-dally around any longer. It’s time for action!

I urge Agri-mark to take charge and inform all members of the Senate and House Ag Committees that the majority of dairy farmers want something done now. It’s obvious that pay prices for August produced milk in Federal Order #1 could plummet to $15.50 per cwt. (prices in all Federal Orders could drop dramatically.)

While different presenters proposed different ideas, I believe these ideas centered around two main ideas. 

When I presented my proposals, I also did something else.

1) I asked the crowd if they truly supported a feasible supply management program. A substantial amount of hands went up in support of my question.

2) Then I asked the crowd if they supported a milk pricing formula that would allow them an opportunity to cover their production costs. Again, a substantial number of hands went up in support of this proposal. I can’t understand why the news media has ignored this survey.

So let’s do something that dairymen said “Yes” to!    

Dairy farmers need more money in their pocket and they need it now. The only way that I know of to obtain funds for our dairy farmers is for the United States Congress to take appropriate action to place a $20 per cwt. (hundredweight) floor price under milk used to manufacture dairy products. 

This could be done in two or three increments, but it must be done now. If needed, a base excess plan could be developed. 

Farmers’ production could be analyzed and if needed, dairy farmers who over-produce their established base would be penalized on the milk they over-produce above their base, but they would receive a full price on the remainder of their milk.

All these prices could be predicated on the $20 floor price as a starter. Some people think the present efforts regarding tariffs are the reason for the dairy farmers’ prices plummeting. Phooey. I don’t know what the President’s efforts on realigning tariffs will do to our dairy farmers, but as the President continues to say we are making America great again, someone must tell him that dairy farmers are being left behind.

A controversial item I brought up is the escalated use of whey and milk protein concentrate that could be causing some if not much of the so-called “over-production.” 

Some people are claiming it’s possible that at least 20 billion pounds of milk are being displaced by these products. What kinds of fillers are being used? If nothing is done this time, then dairy farmers will lose faith in all of us who came to Albany.

Join in with Agri-Mark and make calls to your Senate and House people in Washington and urge them to put a $20 floor price under hundred pounds of milk!

Pro-Ag can be reached at 570-833-5776.