Low Milk Prices Spurring Louder Protest

Kansas Viewpoint

Drastic drop in prices has created dairy crisis; farmers call for action.

Published on: June 23, 2009
The drastic drop in milk prices over the last year has created a crisis for dairy farmers, who are now getting paid less than half what it costs them to produce milk.

Kansas dairy farmers Tom and Judy McCarty, who moved here from Pennsylvania for the opportunity Kansas provided the family to expand and allow their four sons to stay in dairy, say they are tired of reading tips about being more efficient. They think better prices are long overdue.

"I would like to see a professional organization created by real people that would study the broken milk marketing system and move it in a direction that fits the 21st century," McCarty told Kansas Farmer. "Our elected officials need to tune in and address this broken system that has allowed the farmer's share of the consumer dollar to go from 56 cents in 1980 to barely 20 cents today."

It appears plenty of people agree. Farm Aid has more than 13,200 signatures on a petition to USDA, calling on Secretary Tom Vilsack to take immediate action to stop losses.

The petition urges Viksack to use his authority to set a floor price for milk that reflects the cost of production.

You can read more about the dairy crisis and what is being done to address it in the July edition of Kansas Farmer.

If you would like to follow the Farm Aid effort visit the organization's web site or follow the effort on Twitter. Comments are welcome on this blog as well or feel free to drop me an email at pgriekspoor@farmprogress.com.