Who cares about the future of real dairy farmers and our captive consumers?

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By Brenda Cochran
Tioga County, Pennsylvania

The latest from the “Dairy Industry” is another outrage that is hard to imagine is even happening. As outlined in Jim Dickerell’s article in Farm Journal’s Milk, “Industry Proposes Changing How Fluid Milk is Priced,” the “Dairy Industry” is going to make a move in the upcoming Farm Bill to change how fluid milk is calculated, abandoning the “high of” calculation.

Where do dairy farmers or consumers fit in with these globalized “politico-industry” people, who have no conscience, but plenty of gall and greed?

With no remorse, “they” precipitously peeled off $20 billion from the cash flow of US dairy farmers, after passing their last preposterous, anti-dairy farmer, anti-consumer “Farm” Bill – the 2014 outrage – through their schemed 2015 milk price collapse alone. Randy Mooney of the National Milk Producers Federation, acknowledged this during his testimony at the House Ag Committee hearing held on 5/24/16: “Unfortunately, the value of the fresh milk I produce today is worth 22 percent less than it was 10 years ago, and nearly 40 percent less than only a few years ago…For a small family farm milking 100 cows, this price decline equates to a farm revenue decline of approximately $200,000.”

To get a grasp of what it is like out here trying to operate – and hang onto – a family dairy farm in the “dairy industry’s” New World Order, consider the severe 2016 and 2017 financial losses family dairy farms have experienced, still spinning out of control from the abusive federal minimum milk pricing formula-with its ubiquitous “safety net” scams, then run those economic losses through our rural dairy farming communities, and now consider this new scandalous proposal from the fluid milk cartel.

Hopeless?!

We do not have a voice or a seat at the proverbial table, do we? Only the corporate “Dairy Industry” perspective matters! Imagine the audacity to even propose this rubbish, with no consideration of real milk pricing reform that would include dairy farmers’ cost of production!

“Cost of production” (COP) is mandatory for real economic reform for dairy farmers. Without COP, dairy farmers have lost all private property rights and will never be able to safeguard and protect their private property; pay their overdue bills and just debts; provide for the needs of their families including our rural youth, who should be our future farmers; care for their cattle and farms; or support our nation’s vital rural infrastructure that must function in a positive, harmonious manner. If we are to keep fresh, traditional, local food available for consumers to choose from, plus have a secure, sovereign, national food supply, we must have COP.

The only COP proposal presented to date that would have helped dairy farmers was “The Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act,” (last introduced in October 2011, as “S. 1640-112th Congress), which was repeatedly scorned and ignored because the “Dairy Industry” free traders opposed it – for obvious reasons!

It would seem that the “Dairy Industry” and its milk processors can’t wait to force more Frankenstein “dairy” products onto consumers, this time in their fluid milk category. Just like putting “ultra filtered milk” into “standard of identity” cheese, the fluid milk gangsters now want “…to innovate more and come up with unique milk- and milk-based products…” – which sounds like test tube milk to me – to peddle to unsuspecting consumers! Bet they will be shady in their labeling, too, like the current loosey-goosey FDA “cheese” labels. (FDA Docket No. FDA-2017-D-4713)

The dairy industrialists and their insider cronies in government expect us to forget all about what comes directly from the farmers’ cows, which, in the olden days, was called “milk.” Now “milk” is whatever the “Dairy Industry” says it is, after paying for their political “special interest” D.C. status in Congress and the White House, at USDA and FDA, etc.!

I know many dairy farmers hate “doing politics,” but it is by “politics” that we are being robbed, fleeced, bled out, slaughtered, exterminated, eliminated…all sorts of harsh terms apply to what is being done to the agrarian, dairy farming class, with complete approval of the “powers that be” at all levels of government and in all elements of the “Dairy Industry.”

Inevitably, where farmers go, so go consumers! A nation that so abuses its dairy farmers will think nothing of abusing consumers, and both of these outrages are already accepted “policy” inside the Washington D.C. beltway.

Dairy policies in D.C. are not being determined by American “Ag” Committees that are dedicated to preserving sound, vibrant, domestic, local, rural communities for our nation’s well-being. The Senate and House “Ag” Committees are functioning, for all intents and purposes, as global “Dairy Industry” Committees, wielding the unprecedented power to determine everything about the food we eat, including who produces it, the methods used, where it comes from, who pockets the profits from it, and even how it is labeled! This is life in the “New World Order,” where the iron fist of government food powerbrokers, exerting formidable power over our very sustenance, can pistol whip us into eating highly processed and industrialized milk and dairy products because the dairy policies they support leave us no choice!

No one is representing dairy farmers! More advocacy is needed. This situation, including the rampant RICO-esque corruption in the marketing of milk (like the milk marketing conditions that are crippling dairy farmers in NE Federal Order #1!), is out of control! The status quo has become too much to endure.

Further evidence of the extent of the political corruption in all things “dairy” has been brought into the light with the USDA dairy checkoff reporting scandal revealed by the Organization for Competitive Markets. This delinquency shows a brazen disregard for the public interest at USDA under Tom Vilsack, who now reigns at the U.S. Dairy Export Council, as a global dairy exporter extraordinaire!

I am one who does “politics,” and how I am treated is ugly and grossly un-American – like a lower than dirt “rube,” ignored, blown-off, phone calls not returned, bland, non-committal, do-nothing letters from the “ruling class” politicians in both parties. The new administration is no exception and neither was the last, for that matter, all cut from the same New World Order “Free Trade” cloth. Politicians and their aides have managed to institutionalize disregard for real dairy farmers and for consumers.

I am furious and have had it with the political disenfranchisement that has been executed against American citizen dairy farmers by both parties and with the dominant politicians’ cold tolerance for all the deprivation, material suffering, and family anguish they have permitted to overtake dairy farmers and their rural communities.

We don’t get a break! “They” keep on rolling—over us.

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