I received this comment on my blog. I was so moved.
I, too feel that there is no one to help, there is nobody in our court. Our industry is ran like the rest of the country. Big money, and personal interest. Each man for themselves. We try to have voices, but those are only heard when you have lots money and you are able to make yourself heard. I know what it is to feel like no one is listening. My blog is my little tiny voice. It is all I got!
I appreciate that she shared this story with me. I wanted to share it with you.
Hi dairygoddess…I have a question. The dairies in our area are closing. Our friends are generational dairymen, they have lost their home and had a 3k head of cow dairy, now down to 80 cows. They have 34 people who are invested and stand to lose everything. the feed company has raised feed so high they cannot keep up. NOw they are in negotiations and the feed company are holding them over a barrel. Can nothing be done, are there no gov. bale out of a dairy? they sell their milk to Alta Dena who has been supportive but cannot feed the cows. What can we do, to get oats in those cows to produce? Help if you can. (I kept her name private)
This is sadly a story that is told by many dairy farms. We are too, struggling. These next 90 days are reported to be another terrible period for dairy farms. Not only dairies suffer but the companies that service them. There is NO bail out for us, none at all. We dairy men are controlled by people looking out for themselves.
Processors LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cheap milk. They pit dairy farmer against each other so that we can not create tools to help ourselves. They just know that at some point we will end up making too much milk again and drown ourselves and our industry.
California alone is at a terrible injustice. We receive less than anyone else in the nation. Why? I have asked myself this so many times. We ask for hearings through the California Department of Agriculture, yet they are denied. Don’t they see our dairy farms struggling? Yet the processors complain that they will lose. Processors have a make allowance, an allowance that we pay to help them make a profit.
What about us? We just want to receive enough to just feed our cows. Is that asking too much? Do we not deserve enough to make a profit too? We work and have the risk. We do not have any control of the price we are going to receive. We watch our milk get hauled off (we, the dairy farmer pays for that too). Imagine, we pay for the haul to the processor while they have all of the power to raise/lower prices. Yet, we do not see huge drops in the store for dairy products…hmmm interesting isn’t? The minute the milk price goes up for us you see that in the store real quick.
We do not even know how much we are going to get for that milk that we worked so hard to make until a month later.
They have the power to NOT process if they have too much. Of course they have contracts to take all of our milk. Look, though what happens when there is too much…price drops and we are in the RED yet again. We can not just close our doors when we are not making enough money. We have an obligation to our animals. They must be cared for and fed. They must be milked.
We all must work together. Contact you local officials. Scream and shout and start asking the questions.
Get involved in the co-op and industry groups. WE and us alone have to start speaking for ourselves and working for ourselves and NOT let those with their own interests at heart win.
You asked about bail outs…I don’t think any of us want anything for free. I know, I just want a level playing field. Sadly if we do not get this help the American people can rely on non-local and imported milk because of possible milk shortages if too many dairies can not survive. At best the low prices consumers pay for dairy products will be gone for ever. For many our LUCK would have given out.
Praying for us all. The pressure is enormous. We can go without, sacrifice, but our cows MUST be fed and taken care of. When we lose that availability it is heartbreaking.
God help us all!