By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only

How is the dairy industry doing?

In one word, moo-serable!

These snippets were "lifted" from the May, 2002 issue of the
pro-dairy newsletter, The MILKWEED.

"The United States is a milk-deficit nation, believe it or
not. Prices for commodity cheese and butter have slid
backwards in the past month. And USDA purchases of surplus
nonfat dry milk have been on a record pace in recent weeks."

"Cheese and butter prices are down. U.S. milk output is up.
Fluid milk sales are in serious trouble."

"New forces: imported dairy proteins and milk fat, 'not
cheeses' and even soy 'milk' are changing dairy's classic
supply/demand measures."

"Imports (dairy) rose to the equivalent of 5.7 billion lbs.
of farm milk last year. That's 3.4% of total milk output."

"Since October 1, 2001,over 400 million pounds of surplus
nonfat have been acquired by USDA."

It takes 11 pounds of milk to produce one pound of non-fat
dry milk. The 400 million pounds of surplus milk powder
represents 4.4 billion pounds of liquid milk that had to be
dried abd stored in a warehouse at the expense of taxpayers,
for there is no market for that surplus.

In his monthly editorial, editor Pete Hardin writes:

"Needed-a 'Boston Tea Party' for MPC (imported milk protein
concentrates)... It is time for concerned dairy farmers to
take this one to the streets, supermarkets, newspapers, and
TV stations. Maybe angry dairy farmers should 'greet' Tommy
Thompson (America's Secretary of Health and Human Services,
and ex-governor of Wisconsin) with Kraft 'Singles' next time
he's in Wisconsin."

I agree with Peter. There should be a new Boston tea party.
A good start would be to dump that 400 million pounds of
warehoused surplus milk powder that was purchased by
American taxpayers as a bailout to dairymen. Similar
taxation without fair representation is exactly what made
America's first revolution a just event.

For a free issue of The MILKWEED, call: 608-455-2400.

To subscribe to The MILKWEED (in my opinion, the best source
of information about the dairy industry, send $35 (for one
year) or $65 (for two years) to:

P.O. Box 10
Brooklyn, Wisconsin 53521

Robert Cohen author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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