By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only

What will $20 million buy?

My top ten list:

10) Four million bushels of soybeans or
ten million bushels of corn
9) Four thousand Hyundai Accents (L series) or
twenty Ferraris (Testarosas)
8) One million kidnapped kids in the Ivory Coast to work
as slaves on SILK & Hershey chocolate plantations
7) Barry Bond's salary for one baseball season
6) 435 members of Congress with dairy sponsored bribes,
called PAC money
5) SoyToys for 150,000 homes (call for volume
discount: 888-NOT-MILK)
4) Yearly wages for ten thousand Pakistanis, or
fourteen thousand Indians, or just one of their
nuclear weapons, which stand ready to kill millions
3) Ten million quarts of store-bought soymilk,
or two billion quarts of soymilk made in a
soymilk-making machine
2) Total fees paid to 800 athletes, models, entertainers,
and other celebrities for posing for milk mustache ads
1) Rental fee paid by American taxpayers to store all of
the subsidized dried milk powder purchased by USDA to
bail out the dairy industry

WHAT? Rental fee for milk powder? What's going on here?

The American government has no clue what to do with the
dried milk powder it purchases from the dairy industry.

American taxpayers have spent over $1 billion dollars in the
past two years to buy truckload after truckload of this
worthless commodity. We ought to dump the stuff in Boston
Harbor in protest.

Over 1.3 billion pounds of skim milk that nobody would drink
has been reduced to powder and is now being saved for a
rainy day. Starving people throughout the world would prefer
to die than accept this garbage as food. They reject this
free gift from America.

USDA estimates that the 1.3 billion pounds of skim milk
turned into powder would supply America with enough skim
milk for 18 months. Somebody is skimming the American
treasury of badly needed funds.

It would take 635,000 cows one full year to produce the
equivalent milk.

Every day, 3-4 million pounds of milk powder arrive at
private warehouses around the nation. Much of the milk
powder is stored deep underground in caves near Kansas City,
Missouri. What would one dozen famous Missourians say about
this waste of resources?

12) Jesse James: "This is highway robbery!"
11) J.C. Penney: "Put it in a nice package and
the public will buy anything."
10) Joseph Pulitzer: "Who wrote this book? Somebody
deserves a prize."
9) Harry S. Truman: "We should have dropped milk
powder on Nagasaki."
8) Mark Twain: "Whoever thought this one up has
a huckleberry for his brain."
7) Tennessee Williams: "If my kitty is fed this, she'll
wail like a cat on a hot tin roof!"
6) T.S Elliot: "I wouldn't feed that to my CATS."
5) Burt Bacharach: "God, give me strength. If you eat that
milk powder, I'll say a little prayer
for you."
4) Omar Bradley: "In general, I'd storm the beaches over
this act of war."
3) Tina Turner: "What's milk got to do with it? They've
got to show some respect. These dairy guys
break every rule. What you get is what
you see."
2) George Washington Carver: "Nuts!"
1) Walter Cronkite: "And that's the way it is..."

What does USDA have to say about this insanity? Steve Gill
oversees USDA's commodity storage system. His comments:

"They keep making it and we keep buying it. It behooves the
U.S. government find out what to do with its inventories."


E-Mail Telephone Number 202-720-2121

So, the question asked as the subject of this column, what
will $20 million buy, is answered: the rental fee for $1
billion worth of subsidized milk powder.

The next question: What will $1 billion buy? The answer:
Aspirin for every single American to take for each one of
the next 365 days for the throbbing headaches produced by
this absurdity.

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

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