Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Foundation for the Future

FFTF-Rainbow Stew for the Dairy Farmer

Is a new dairy pricing program that the National Milk Producer's Federation is foisting on farmers proposing to Congress. It includes monetary assessments on milk checks, some of which will go straight to the Treasury to help lower the deficit, the rest of which will be administered by yet another board. We dairy farmers already have boards reaching into our pockets to fund the Dairy Check Off and CWT among other programs, so of course we should be just delighted to crowd a couple more hands in there. The board will decide what generic milk promotion will get the funds that they take from us. Of course generic milk promotion has been proven not to work...or at least not very well, but why worry about that?

And then there is the whole supply management thing. If the supply management tool kicks in farmers will only be paid for a percentage of their previous three months average milk production. The theory is that they will produce less to avoid that. Since cows don't have on/off switches I wonder how that will be done. Feed less? Kill a few cull some cows? I don't imagine that it will be pretty.

Plus I figure if they lower the amount of milk US farmers are permitted to produce, someone else will step up to the plate...er.....glass...and fill the void. Melamine anyone?

Supposedly farmers are in favor of this new, improved, dairy policy, but really, I have yet to talk to one who is, unless they are on a cooperative board and toeing the company line although I have read a few positive comments on ag media stories. Most folks seem pretty skeptical.

One good thing I can say is that it is planned to decouple prices from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a move that is long overdue.

However this pup, and it is a pup, will probably fly through Congress because it does away with the dairy support price program and milk marketing orders are "simplified".

Most ag publications are talking about FFTF as if it were Rainbow Stew for dairy farmers. Of course it is obvious that they listen to the pundits at NMPF and not so much to actual producers. I don't really think that many cooperatives ask farmers how they feel about things like this....they are more inclined to tell them what to think instead.

Here is some analysis of what is going to happen if this is passed.


Anonymous said...

On the supply management front Canadians have had to deal with over and under production. its not fun it means you have to change your mind set. A new system should work on demand so when the consumer wants milk, it is there for them.


Rev. Paul said...

On a related topic, my query: what color is a 'generic' cow?

Anonymous said...

Oh, my goodness. Sometimes I am more than apalled at our government. I guess we have to hang on tight...it sounds like it is going to get worse.

Sign, double sigh.

I'm so sorry.


threecollie said...

Bruce, the more I read on this , the more appalling I find it. Wonder just what they have in mind

Rev. Paul, gentian violet maybe? lol

Linda, pretty incredible isn't it?