Family Farm Organizations Call On Congress to Review Dairy Policies
In a letter delivered to Members of Congress this week, scores of organizations and businesses which serve dairy farmers and rural communities called on federal lawmakers to review the dairy policies that have contributed to the financial crisis experienced by the majority of dairy farmers across the United States.
The letter states: “Federal dairy policies have been hammering dairy farmers for more than 30 years. There were 600,000 U.S. dairy farms in 1976, dropping to 131,509 by 1992, and to 51,481 by 2012. It is unthinkable that Congress continues to formulate policies that will likely be responsible for a continued decline in the number of U.S. dairy farms.”
The letter continues: “This crisis in not just affecting farmers and their families, but also the entire rural economy.”
See the full letter here:
As this national sign-on letter explains, the federal milk pricing formula leaves dairy farmers unable to cover their basic cost of production. When they cannot cover their bills they owe, there is a subsequent loss of a substantial number of support businesses, service providers and suppliers which further hurt rural communities.
As neither the House nor Senate draft farm bills make these needed reforms, the letter urges Members, “take swift action to implement equitable federal dairy policies based on fairness and cost of production in the dairy provision of the 2012 Farm Bill.”
[See a New York Times article about Dairy Industry Consolidation and “lush paydays” for CEOs.]
Mrs. Brenda Cochran | Tuesday, January 08, 2013
As a Catholic dairy farmer, I am very grateful to see this information posted on the NCRLC website. It is particularly relevant considering all the damaging political and media rhetoric dairy farmers have been subjected to during the recent allegations about “$6 to $8/gal” milk prices broadcast during the “fiscal cliff” discussions. I have never witnessed such blatant lies and such shameless misrepresentation of the facts behind the current plight of America’s dairy farmers as demonstrated during that outrageous “milk cliff” propaganda blitz. These scare tactics were used to frighten people into blindly supporting the Dairy Security Act (DSA) dairy provision in the current 2012 Farm Bill drafts, which will not address any of the dairy crisis issues afflicting our dairy farming communities. Supposedly the truth will set us free. Clearly, dairy farmers are not free yet.