Life on a family dairy farm
in the wilds of
Upstate New York
Friday, February 15, 2013
Northeast Federal Order Referendum
I remember a few years ago sitting at a milk meeting and being asked by the processors to vote in favor of letting them take more money out of our milk price for what was called a "make allowance". This arrangement would be made via an amendment to the Federal Milk Marketing Order in the Northeast. As I understand it that pays them back for the costs they incur in making dairy products such as cheese. Makes perfect sense to charge the farmer to assure the cheese manufacturers' bottom line right? They promised that if the farmers would vote that for them, later they would lobby for farmers to get a better milk price overall. Sounded pretty fishy at the time, but it passed anyhow. Now there is a referendum in progress to make that permanent, and if the boss is reading it right, even increase it....don't quote me on that part of it, as it is REALLY hard to read. You will not find much of anything on the Internet about this. I know because I have been trying since I heard about this last week....typical of the secrecy that surrounds everything to do with the arcane pricing of milk, the main purpose of which seems to be to allow other entities to feather their nests at the expense of dairy farmers. There is a lot of money made with milk and other dairy products, but most of it goes to middlemen. Anyhow, we got a ballot to vote on it yesterday...and I think you have already guessed that it will be returned with the "no" box checked. Be careful though...you are pretty much screwed either way, as a yes vote allows money to be taken out of your milk check forever and ever and a no dissolves the Northeast Federal Order. And don't be surprised if I tell you later that there was some form of retaliation for me daring to write this......