The dairy crisis going on all across this country has never been so severe. Small family farms are hemorrhaging out of business and large farms are so highly leveraged their creditors own them. We do not want to become like Venezuela where all of the farms are government owned. People are starving there! Misrepresentations and fake news have plagued the dairy industry for decades to confuse politicians, judges, dairy farmers, and especially the consumer.
Who is putting small family farms out of business? It’s not Canada, the EU, or fluctuating markets. These are all peripheral influences. It is National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), Dairy Farmers of America, and their milk cartel. DFA has a monopoly on the buying of milk so that they can pay farmers less than the cost of production and shut down your neighboring family farm.
How has our country survived with this decrease in milk production? DFA supports expansion of factory farms and supplements our nation’s dairy supply with cheap foreign milk powders and proteins that are imported by Dairy Farmers of America (who hold import licenses). These products come from countries who do not have the same food health and safety standards we do in the US, do not manufacture with the same environmental regulations, and do not support worker’s rights.
What is our hope in the industry? The customer!!! We are real dairy farmers who know all our cows. Our cows are part of our family not just numbers like in factory farms. If you are a consumer outraged at small family farms being put out of business please help your remaining dairy farms! Starting June 1, 2018, (the first day of National Dairy Month) let’s do a campaign to “Cull the Moo-nopoly and Save Small Family Farms”! Just call to cull!!! Cut out, make copies, and share with your neighbors, family, friends, feed dealer, veterinarian, hardware store, auto parts, diner, and any other businesses this article and phone numbers below.
“Cull the Moo-nopoly and Save Small Family Farms” campaign is all about you the consumer letting your voice be heard about sustaining your local small family farms and the wholesome dairy products they provide!
Who can help? Our US Department of Justice. They do not need Congress to pass a law. It was already done in 1890 called the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. A monopoly is not legal because the citizens of this country do not benefit. For example: In the 1980’s Ma Bell was the ONLY phone company and we all had to pay high rates for phone service. When the monopoly was broken up we had choices like AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Frontier, etc. who compete for our business by offering us lower prices and better service.
I want to help. Where do I start?
On June 1st call to cull:
#1. The US Department of Justice 888-647-3258 or (202) 514-2101 or (202) 307-2040 and tell them it’s National Dairy Month and you want them to cull the moo-nopoly, that is to prosecute and split up the strangle hold Dairy Farmers of America has on this nation’s dairy farmers and the milk we supply. The Dept. of Justice needs to enforce the consent decree they issued to DFA which was to prevent this monopoly situation, primarily by forbidding full supply agreements with processors. You also want them to investigate misinformation published by the milk cartel that has led to farmer abuses, as in the Carlin vs. Dairy America case, Allens vs. DFA case, and Sitts vs. DFA case.
They may tell you that DFA is a cooperative and is immune to the Sherman Act because of the Capper-Volstead Act, which was created to allow dairy farmers to collectively sell product. You can inform them that DFA has failed to meet the first legal criteria as a cooperative, which is to exist for the financial best interest of their dairy farmer members. Give them facts like in 2015 dairy farmers were paid about 44% less than in 2014 while DFA more than doubled their reported profits from 43.1 million to 94.1 million and in 2016 while dairy farmers were increasingly struggling at only about 50% of their previous income, DFA was soaring at $131.8 million in reported profits. You as the consumer saw no corresponding drop in dairy prices at the store. The Department of Justice has lawyers and investigators to look up more facts. It is all documented. What you want is justice now before all your small family dairy farms are abandoned!
I want to help more. What’s next?
#2. Call the White House Comment Line (202) 456-1414
Tell President Trump that small family farms are being culled out of business by influence of monopolist Dairy Farmers of America and not to listen to fake news put out by DFA, NMPF, its lobbyists, and affiliates. Tell him making American small family farms great again is the key to making the rural American economy great again, which is the infrastructure of this country and that you want him to secure a safe American dairy supply. This is a national security issue. If he has questions he can call fellow New Yorkers well versed in the crisis at (315) 855-4465.
I love small family farms! How can I do even more?
#3. Call the Secretary of Agriculture (202) 720-2791
Tell Sonny Perdue that you want him to use the power that was granted the secretary of agriculture in the Capper-Volstead Act (1922) to break up the DFA monopoly, command DFA full divestiture, and give cooperatives’ farmer members all positive equity in marketable form immediately. Tell him that when the government uses tax payer $ to support mega dairy expansion that is socialism not capitalism and these facilities are the ones that create environmental catastrophes! He can write policy that would help farmers like returning money to farmers paid into and lost through the Margin Protection Program (which was written by NMPF), and secure a safe American dairy supply. Ask him to review dairy industry improvement proposals at the D’Amore Cheeseworks ltd. facebook page, to contact Arden Tewksbury from Progressive Agriculture Organization at (570) 833-5776 for ideas on dairy pricing, and to put full fat whole milk back in schools to help children’s growing brain development.
I’ll take cream in my coffee, hold the corruption. Can the FBI help?
#4. Yes, call the Federal Bureau of Investigation (202)324-3000. Ask how to file a Criminal Complaint concerning extortion of dairy farmers’ signatures in support of settlement in the Allens vs. DFA case. Over 1000 dairy farmers were coerced by their milk inspectors into signing in support of a settlement which would solidify monopoly control by DFA over their livelihood or face termination. They can find the evidence in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, Appellate Brief Docket #16-1944 and the accompanying In Camera Declarations of Extortion.
What if I can’t get through? If you can’t get through because the lines are busy (let’s get a million callers) try again June 2nd, or 3rd, and so on, as all of June is National Dairy Month!!!
Please feel free to copy, capture, print this information and help make it go viral!!! Thank you for becoming the voice for small family farmers who are afraid to speak up themselves because DFA will put their livelihood and farm out of existence. You can pass along more information from the You/Tube video “People of the Soil by Robert Norris”, which is a 4 min. overview of what’s gone on, and the D’Amore Cheeseworks ltd. facebook page where we have a link to a more in depth article titled, “How Rural America Got Milked” by Leah Douglas published by Washington Monthly that can be read at https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/january-february-march-2018/how-rural-america-got-milked/.
Dairy Farmer Sign-On Petition
Please sign and share this DAIRY FARMER PETITION for emergency help.
Progressive Agriculture Organization
1300 Rattlesnake Hill Road
Meshoppen, PA 18630
PROGRESSIVE AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION EMERGENCY RECOMMENDATIONS TO ADDRESS THE ECONOMIC DISASTER DESTROYING DAIRY FARMERS
January 15, 2018
There are certain things that Congress and the USDA can and must do.
1) Congress could and should peg the Class I price in 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 for a new federal milk pricing formula that will include farmers' cost of production like all businesses are permitted to do in pricing their products and services.
4) Sooner, not later, the industry must give credence to a reasonable milk supply management program that is fair to everyone, in the event that there is any overproduction of milk.
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? The “make allowance” needs to be eliminated immediately because Congress ended the Dairy Product Price Support Program (DPPSP) in the 2014 Farm Bill, shorting dairy farmers about $2 per cwt. in all milk they have sold since then. That is a huge income shortfall for dairy farmers struggling to pay their bills because of Congress's action in the 2014 Farm Bill.
6) Advertising and promoting milk: Neither of the two major political parties has been fair to American dairy farmers. The past administration did harm to our dairy farmers by developing unwise standards for our school lunch program. The present school lunch program is ruining future milk drinkers by not having good tasting whole milk that is the best choice for students' health. All dairy farmers must immediately confer with members of Congress and the current administration to correct the inequities in the school lunch program and allow whole milk, both white and flavored, to be offered to students.
7) Public hearings must be held to investigate the effect the continued use of protein products derived from milk, including casein, milk protein concentrate (MPC), ultra-filtered milk, etc. have had on the farm price for milk and the price consumers are paying for milk and dairy products and to determine safety and nutritional impacts of these proteins on human health.
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.
Remember: Dairy farmers do not want a government hand-out; they want a fair price from the marketplace.
Pro-Ag can be reached at 570-833-5776
Farm Women United Fully Supports the Progressive Agriculture Organization and these Emergency Actions.