Communism or Price Control? Dairy Amendment Threatens Farm Bill
Facing rising feed costs, drought and high state taxes, farming is becoming increasingly more difficult for California’s dairy farmers, and some are being courted to leave the state, reports the Los Angeles Times.Read More:California Dairy Farmers Migrating to Cheaper States
The drought currently plaguing the nation may cost California 100 dairy farmers before the year’s end, according to dairy industry experts.Read More:California Dairy Farmers Suffering Massive Losses
It’s just so wrong to see the words ‘illegal’ and ‘organic’ side by side. But according to recent reports on the state of organic dairy, a topic I’ve blogged about before, that’s exactly what’s happening.
At an emergency organic farmer rally held recently in West Salem, WI, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack heard emotional pleas from small and family-owned organic farmers fighting for survival: during the Bush administration, the USDA was accused of “looking the other way” as large corporate agribusinesses invested in organics while allegedly violating federal standards.
In the dairy sector there are now estimated to be 20 large industrial dairies, each milking 1500-7000 cows, producing as much as 40% of the nation’s organic milk supply. A glut of factory farm milk has flooded the organic dairy sector squeezing the incomes of family farmers as dairy processors cut payments and demand production cutbacks
The Secretary Speaks
Take advantage of 110 ratings of all organic brands (listed alphabetically) based on their ethical and legal approach to milk production. While ‘big organic’ may be shortcutting the rules, the report shows that 90% of organic milk, cheese, butter and yogurt marketers are subscribing to the “spirit and letter of the organic regulations.”
It’s not just organic dairy farmers that are in danger: traditional dairy farmers are hurting too. Find out more – and how you can help – here.
Read more and see a video clip of some of Tom Vilsack’s comments to learn more.Read More:Illegal Organic Milk? Shameful!
I recently blogged about ‘big organic’ dairy companies and how they were affecting the quality of organic dairy.
Since then, another dairy emergency has come to light from the folks at Food Democracy Now…the plight of the poorly paid American dairy farmer…and the consumer by-product: imported milk that is less safe.
Food Democracy’s recent email reported…
Since December 2008, the price that farmers are paid for the milk they produce has dropped over 50 percent – the largest single drop since the Great Depression -to a point far below the cost of production. This unprecedented collapse in prices has occurred in large part due to market manipulations and increased foreign imports by milk industry giants.
The report goes on to cite several disturbing stats:
Take Action Today!
Send an electronic fax to Secretary Vilsack, head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (it’s all ready for you to sign and send thanks to the socially and environmentally aware cell phone company, Credo) to let him know that you support America’s family dairy farmers.Read More:Milk Farmers in Crisis…and Less Safe Milk!