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Country Discussion Topics
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The price of milk
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Dave Smith    Posted 06-11-2003 at 13:25:12       [Reply]  [Send Email]
More and more dairy farms are shutting down. The farmers are not getting paid enough for thier milk. The monthly operational expenses and feed bills exceed the income from thier milk.
In 1953 and 54 I worked in a dairy bar. We sold all forms of dairy products. Milk, cheese, ice cream etc.
There was no minimum wage. I started at 75 cents per hour and thought that was good money.
Most milk customers used a wire carrier that held 4 glass quart bottles. The price was 88 cents for a gallon of milk this way.
Now a days you go to the super market and buy a gallon of milk for $1.99.
But what is the minimum wage?
Is it any wonder the diry farmer can't make it. Even the big, big farms you see are in the red.
Farming is not so good any more.
God bless America and save the farmer.
Dave


Kelly    Posted 06-12-2003 at 19:13:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
What is happening to this world. Whatever happened to self reliance? What if suddenly there was nowhere else to get milk? Or vegetables, or whatever. Why can't we just keep it in our own back yard. It may cost a little more but the satisfaction of independence is worth it. I never knew milk came from gross places like that, have to get my own cows now, or find a local supply. I buy a lot of my vegetables from a guy in the next county that goes to south Georgia to buy from farmers and then he sells out of his house. I love that. He used to have eggs from his own chickens too, til dogs got the chickens, I sure miss those sweet tastin eggs. It's just like that song by Alan Jackson, The Little Man. Such a sad but true song, hate to see it happening.


RichZ    Posted 06-12-2003 at 11:15:25       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I live in the biggest dairy producing county in New York State. Most of my neighbors are dairy farmers. They are all hurting, some are barely hanging on. The milk companies don't care, and they make it worse. Here in New York, they even charge for picking up the milk, and they subtract the cost of that from what they pay. It's ridiculous, and the politicians don't care!!!

Most of the big companies that use dairy products use milk solids imported from Asia. Importation of dairy products should stop!!! Not only does it hurt our farmers, but the conditions of dairies in Asia are unbelievable. Most have only a handfull of cows and milk by hand. They don't sanitize the teats, and they lubricate the teats before milking with their own spit!!! Do you want to consume that milk??? I don't!!! I won't buy anything made with milk products unless they come from our own local (or at least American) dairies. Something has to be down to save the dairy farmers, or there won't be any anymore!!!


Alvin NE WI    Posted 06-11-2003 at 18:36:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
I live in a very high milk produceing area. In the local grocecy store milk is 2.59 a gallon, that is whole milk 3.2%fat, which is standardized throughout the country because of Federal order specs.. It has been that price for a couple years. When milk hit its high spot over 2 years ago it was 2.69 a gallon, same milk, same bottler. and on the farm it was near $17 a hundred, now it is hardly $11 and it is only a dime less. If and I also mean when the price goes up a buck a hundred at the farm you d** well better believe it will raise at least .15 a gallon. The middle group sure take their cut. A gallon of whole milk weighs in at 8.6 pounds per gallon Go figure. Than you take the skim and 2% where all the fat is out of and used for butter which gets to be totalprofit for the industry, cause the skim is not much more than colored water.

The road I live on has 4 farmers left milking cows, 8 different trucks from many miles away drive past my place going to their farm for a pickup. There is only one cheese factory left in my county, 40 years ago there were at least 50, the rest are gone. The closest bottleing plant is 40 miles away and some of the trucks drive past the local grocery that charges those prices. I remember John Stossel saying a couple years ago wondering why the Goverenment is apending all those $$ on farms, He said, after all the stores shelves are full of food. We sure do not need the farmers, they are just a bunch of free loaders. He forgot to say how many time the government rebuilt his oceon front house because of storm damage. Better quit.
Alvin-- a farmer


Tom A    Posted 06-11-2003 at 15:17:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
40 years ago, our county was the highest milk producing county in Maryland. Now there are few dairy farms left, most are growing houses.

But one neighbor of mine built himself an on-farm small dairy bottling facility. He cut out the middleman. Produces and sells milk (in glass bottles, some homogenized some not), cheese, yogurt, butter, and ice cream. He has a delivery van, but also has an on-farm store where you can go and pick up what you want.

He sells for a few cents more than the grocery stores, and people have been going to his place more and more as word gets out. It is pretty neat to see...I don't know that he's going to "make it" but he seems to be doing better than when he was selling to a bulk pickup truck.

I really think things like that are the future of agriculture. Small farm selling direct to locals. Pain in the neck dealing with the government, but he managed to get licensed and stay that way, so it isn't impossible.

Tom


Jimbob    Posted 06-11-2003 at 17:52:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
We have a lot of direct from farmer sales here. But if a dairy farmer gets caught selling milk, he's in trouble with the distributor. The middleman has to go!!!!!!!!


maybe, but this guy is my    Posted 06-12-2003 at 02:34:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
A couple of years ago, this same guy made the front page locally. The big company that bought his eggs under contract (he has several thousand layers, too) had unilaterally reduced the price they were willing to pay even though there was a signed contract in place. The cost they were going to pay him was far less than the cost of production.

So, he made arrangements with local charities and foodbanks and donated as many eggs as he could to them, and then dumped the rest on his fields as basically fertilizer/compost. Big picture of a gazillion eggs in the field. He said if that's the way business was done to farmers, he didn't want to play anymore...that also is about the time he started researching the direct marketing of his milk. He doesn't care who knows, he is either going to make it or die trying.

Tom


Jimbob    Posted 06-11-2003 at 14:33:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
I reported this about a month or two ago. Only the corporate owned farms being used as a tax write-off are receiving benefits. It is so bad here that most farmers are breaking even or selling at a loss. This is including the family run small farms of 100 cows that not only have been paid for in full long ago, the workers are family that work for food- no wages!!!!!!

Absolutely outragous. The middlemen are killing this industry.


Dave Smith    Posted 06-11-2003 at 15:06:50       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Jimbob, As I said 50 years ago milk was .88 cents per gallon in the store. Now it is only $1.99 per gallon, Slightly more than doubled. Wages then were .75 per hour, Now they are over $6.00. 8 times greater. Even taking into consideration production improvements, thats a very large difference. If they were equal milk would be over 7.00 per gallon.
Dave


Jimbob    Posted 06-11-2003 at 17:50:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
I know cow production is up. But, milk should be $3.50 a gallon here in Michigan (its $2.00 to $2.40). Its $3.50 in Shreveport, Louisana!!!!!!!!!

Farmers get $1.10cwt in MI. How about $2.70cwt? That is the minimum the farmers should get here.


Salmoneye    Posted 06-12-2003 at 04:48:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Remove the price supports and the market will find its' own level...


A Bigger Picture? Jimbob    Posted 06-11-2003 at 14:54:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
What also concerns me is usually a person is rewarded for hard work- kind of a 'gods' way of things (not wiggin' out here either).
If this way of life is also gone, the future of gods grace may dim as well. Someone(s) is a real dumba$$ not helping this situation if you know what I mean.


Salmoneye    Posted 06-11-2003 at 13:44:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have seen 25 dairy farms go out of business and the land broken and sold just in our town in the last 40 years...My Grandmother ran 5 of them and got out in the late 60's completely...Only one of her farms she sold ran through the 70's and that one finally quit when the main barn burned down...

I can only name 10 dairy farms or less left here out of 50 some odd in the 40's...Some have gone to beef and others to boarding horses...One I know actually is making money at 'fodder'...Trucks to just outside of NYC...


Family farm....    Posted 06-11-2003 at 13:44:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
operated for 48 years.Milking 280 registered Holstein's 2x a day.No days off-no Holidays.Plant out 165 acres of corn every year to feed the cows.The whole family worked and no regular paycheck either.Now...cows sold off...land is leased to a bigger dairy operation...most equipment sold off...the politicians and yuppies could care less....


Cindi    Posted 06-12-2003 at 03:57:38       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Milk, eggs, oranges, any farm product you can name. Years ago a man would get into a farm production business and it would be something he could handle on his own. Lots of things have played into the decline of the small farm business, one of them is the fact that people tend to get greedy or lazy.

Add more cows, add more citrus trees, grow more crops, until it gets to the point that our farmer cannot handle it on his own. It goes from making a living to trying to get rich, and everybody knows you can't get rich raising farm products.

Once you have to 'hire on' help, that's where many of the problems come in. The government regulates wages and holiday pay and workman's compensation insurance and so on. If you buy into 'doing it bigger' then you're going to pay for the priviledge.

I may get yelled at for this, but I see it everyday out here.


Clod    Posted 06-12-2003 at 18:06:18       [Reply]  [No Email]

The family vehicle in 53.The whole family had one vehicle which served for farm chores and family sedan.Crank your own window up>no electric winder.Lucky if you got an AM radio and one speaker.No boom box.The starter button was a rod sticking in the floorboard.You stomped it.It went down to enguage the gear and battery current.Your choke was not fancy but a cable wire to the carb.You had a choice of 6 cylinders and three forward gears with clutch.one barrel carb.A heater and wipers.one choice for tires and wheels.A simple vehicle for simple people who believed in function before style.You could buy that truck for 1700 bucks which may make a down payment on todays farm truck.The younger generation that came behind had a desire for complex machiney and lifestyle.Todays tractors have more luxury options than that GMC there.The cow has not changed much since 53. A 1953 model cow will appear on a post lower for comparison


Jimbob    Posted 06-12-2003 at 19:32:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
I owned a 1950 Chevy truck. The thick metal never did rust thru. I seen 1990 Chevy trucks just rusted & rotted everywhere.

I ask, which has more value when bought new? So much for auto technology.


Clod    Posted 06-12-2003 at 19:34:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
Quality is on a downhill run.Extravgance is only on the surface.


Clod53 cow    Posted 06-12-2003 at 18:08:52       [Reply]  [No Email]

Same cow,diffrent generation.


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