Farmers Union & NFO launch Dairying Together tour

Two farm organizations have launched a nationwide initiative to seek change in how dairy farmers are paid for milk.

Farmers Union and the National Farmers Organization launched Dairying Together, a series of meetings designed to get farmers talking about changing the way milk is priced.  Bobbi Wilson with Wisconsin Farmers Union tells Brownfield there are three proposals to consider so far. “We simply can’t accept the status quo. We can’t keep going down the road that we’re going down now or the traditional family dairy farm will all but disappear from the American landscape.”

Wilson says one plan Farmers Union likes is an updated Dairy Price Stabilization Plan which failed to get through Congress in 2010.  She says economists have looked at where farmers would be if this proposal were already in place. “It looks like the Dairy Price Stabilization Plan would have had a significant impact. We can say with certainty it would have saved hundreds of farms that are not farming anymore.” This plan was originally authored by the National Holstein Association in 2010, where it passed the U.S. House but didn’t get Senate support. Farmers Union asked University of Wisconsin economists to update the numbers, and Wilson says the National Holstein Association board recently voted to again support the concept.

Another proposal authored by NFO would pay four dollars premium per hundredweight on the first million pounds of milk but would require need nationwide mandatory pooling of milk, something cheese plants spoke against at a recent Dairy Task Force meeting in Wisconsin.

About 40 farmers participated in the first meeting at the WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. More meetings are set for Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Vermont, New York, and California.

Listen to the entire interview with Bobbi Wilson from Wisconsin Farmers Union here:

Learn more about the NFO proposal here as Brownfield speaks with Dick Bylsma:

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