It’s Time for the US Secretary of Agriculture to Apologize to American Family Dairy Farmers


October 7, 2019

Guest Editorial by Arden Tewksbury, Progressive Agriculture Organization manager

After receiving many phone calls, along with the same concerns appearing in various news outlets, it is certainly time for the US Secretary of Agriculture to apologize to the American Family Dairy Farmers.

The Secretary continues to say that some (or many) of our average sized dairy farms are likely to fail.

The main reason that these above named dairy farmers may not make it is because they aren’t receiving a price for their milk to cover their cost of production.

Over the years many thousands of consumers have asked me the following: How can our dairy farmers stay in business if they can’t cover their costs?  This is the reason why all dairy farmers need a new pricing formula that gives the dairy farmers a chance to cover their costs.

The Secretary must realize that it was mainly our family dairy farmers who played a major role in developing our strong local agriculture communities.

Not only are our family dairy producers being forced out of business, but many of our local agriculture businesses have also been forced to close up their shops.

The Secretary’s position seems to criticize any form of a supply management program.  I urge the Secretary to look at S-1640 (The Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act).  This proposal would give dairy farmers an opportunity to cover their costs and a milk supply management that encourages dairy farmers to produce milk for the real market.  This is a program that is fair to every American dairy farmer and does not include a quota system similar to what Canada has, and is not a program that divides dairy farmers into various sections of the country.  I would strongly urge the Secretary to support reasonable dairy programs that would give all dairy farmers a chance to survive, and not force many more of our dairy farmers out of business.

Pro Ag may be reached at 570-833-5776.