How have low bulk milk prices affected your operation?
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It has been most interesting watching the demise of family farms which may include dairy farms. Seems: the greater the agri-business efficiency the greater the loss of social civility. According to economist Robert Heilbroner: Joseph Schumpeter made the point that a good economy does not necessarily make a good society. Somehow economic success through efficiency cannot support harmonious family life. Yet the Question is asked “How are you Coping?” I’ll bet family farms are coping quite differently than incorporated farming concerns. One has a conscience and one does not. One goes to church and one does not. One sends children to die in war and one does not. Yet constitutionally both are legally considered “persons.” Any constitutional law scholar knows that. No one talks about population decline, which would greatly affect consumer demand, except that guy that wrote: The Pig in the Python. That book while coming off as a stock sales pitch made some very good points and accurate predictions that are coming true now. I am mostly a consumer of dairy products. The prices keep going way up. A pound of generic cheese is $8 now in so. Tx. The honey bees know something.
How are we coping? Well, here in central WI, not very well. In the past, the movement was for rotational grazing, which has greatly lowered input costs and labor (and at roughly 60% of WI cows on pasture, we have the true "happy cows"). But now even the once profitable farmers are talking about selling out. When you have a pricing system so archane that university professors can spend a lifetime studying it and still not understand it, how can you expect farmers to make a living off of it? If the federal government wants to determine what we can receive for our product, then they had better factor in enough to cover our basic expenses, or all of our milk will soon be coming from China (ask the Chinese mothers about that milk!) And with the job market the way it is, we can't even take the government's former advice and get another day job. ("Farmers in need of health insurance should find an off farm job that had health insurance benefits.") I still fail to understand why someone with a $million investment in a business that supplies a vital comodity for this country should have to seek a secondary job just to support their family!
So how are we coping? Our cows will be gone this fall. Thats if we can afford to sell them at the severely depressed prices we now have. God bless America, because no one else is.
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