Market Change Presents New Opportunities

By Brad Rach
I hope everyone has a chance to look at our new National Farmers Dairy Policy Adviser site ( You’ll find all you need there to understand and explain our program to restore opportunities and prosperity for America’s smaller dairy farms.

Getting serious about reforming the Federal Milk Marketing Order system is an essential step along the way to getting our program in place. By reform, we mean a three-part approach:

• Eliminate depooling
• Establish a national Order
• Eliminate bloc voting

There is no doubt about which side dairy farmers should be on when it comes to depooling.

Dick Bylsma, national milk sales manager, took a hard look at what happened in Wisconsin during June, a month when there was massive depooling in Federal Order 30. Here’s what he found. If all the milk sold in Wisconsin had been pooled, farmers would have received $1.34 more than they actually got.

Put another way, depooling reduced total farm income by $40.2 million. On average, that’s more than $6,000 per farm in Wisconsin in just one month! Establishing a single, national FMMO, would stop our largest private plants, individual farms and cooperatives from gaming the system to their own advantage.

Dairy prices would better reflect the national character of today’s markets. Transportation throughout the system would become more efficient and easier on the environment. The changes we support must be guided by the right people, that is, farmers like you. Bloc voting must end, and soon.

Dick Bylsma put it this way: Those changes need to be guided by those with the most at stake, America’s dairy farmers, each exercising their individual judgment about what is best for the industry.

I want to end on a personal note. Many of you have expressed your sympathies about the passing of my wife, Connie, and it means more than I can say. It’s time like these, more than any, that remind me how fortunate we are to be together as members and staff of National Farmers.


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