In Wake of COVID-19, Dairy Producers Are Not Alone


By Brad Rach

At national convention, I talked about one of my favorite movies: ‘Smokey and the Bandit’. The theme song particularly sticks in my mind: “We’ve got a long way to go, and a short time to get there.”

I think that line pretty much says where we are in today’s dairy industry. Since convention, COVID-19 has brought troubles that no one ever thought possible. What we know is coming is bad enough. What we don’t know, or can’t imagine, is even more frightening.

What I do know is this—we will face whatever comes along together. None of us will be alone. And I know this, too—National Farmers will continue to lead the way toward a more stable and fairer dairy industry.

One of the highlights of convention was the way National Farmers Field Operations Director Michael Mackey took us through all the work we did to promote our dairy policy in the past year. State after state, coast to coast, political leaders to cooperative managers, farmers by the hundreds, we had a truly impressive year in doing what needs to be done to set things right for America’s family dairy farmers.

Those efforts have not slowed down. We are putting a high priority on pushing for a national milk marketing order that covers all producers all of the time. That system, once in place, will put us in the best position to deal with whatever the COVID-19 pandemic brings our way. We have written to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and are contacting as many people and organizations as we can to seek their support.

We can’t do it with staff alone, however. We need your help, too. I know these times are way beyond tough, but I am asking you to stay strong and hopeful. Remember what the song in Smokey and the Bandit said: “We’re going to do what they say can’t be done.”

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