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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank B View Post
    Umm, you're using a fictional TV drama as a source? Seriously?
    Dude, seriously? I wasn't using it as a "source". This isn't a term paper. It just nicely explains one of the consequences of an increase in milk prices. That's all.
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris



  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkipHiLad4me View Post
    Yes a rise in the price of milk will impact EVERYTHING containing milk products.... yogurt, cheese, butter, etc.

    For anyone wishing to just let our agriculture industry and our farms collapse rather than pay subsidies to our food producers, enjoy your melamine tainted food items courtesy of China. Seriously, you're out of your mind if you think allowing all of our food to come from other countries is a good idea. Thats already the case with our fuel and how is that going? Our food prices will go through the roof! Do you seriously want all of your food imported? Gross!! We have already managed to become a country of consumers rather than producers. Why would we further sell ourselves out to other countries so that they can control our entire food supply? Americans are so far removed from the reality of the importance of our agriculture industry that its really, really frightening.
    Europe has some of the highest farm subsidies of any other, just because of that.
    After two wars and famines and food rationing, we understood how critical insuring a minimum of food be produced in the country is.
    Since so many other places can beat production and prices, subsidies were the best way to insure there would be that base of production in the country, no matter what.

    In the USA, that is compounded with farm produce being one of the bright stars in the balance of trade with other countries and supporting that is also important.
    Not all agriculture is supported with ag programs, only what is considered important, or important for keeping green spaces open, for ecological reasons, like buffers to development.

    Many ag programs in the ag bill are other, like research, inspection, food stamps one of the largest of them.

    These are important and not so easy to explain ways government works.
    Some programs are sensible, some brilliant, some, well, not so much, like everything else the government does.


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  3. #23
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    This post will probably get me attacked but I don't care. It needs to be said. I'm completely against farm subsidies and believe that is the wrong way to spend taxpayers money. In many cases, the subsides do not end up in the hands of small farmers but rather in the hands of the large corporations. That is pretty much what has happened in the dairy industry as in most of the ag industry. Small farms have been eaten up as they have gone under unable to compete against the larger subsidized dairies, and the money is corporate welfare. This is what has destroyed the family farm.

    IMO, the best way anyone can support a farmer is to go find one and give him/her your business directly. We need to support and develop regional food production and quit being dependent on petroleum to ship food halfway around the world. The average item in the grocery store travels 1500 miles to get there and it takes 15 calories of petroleum to produce, harvest and transport one calorie of food. Ultimately it's more eco friendly and it safer as we will have our own food grown locally and not depend on anyone else for it. The local food movement is underway and growing fast and more it is supported and as demand grows, there will be more and more people opening businesses to support this new niche.

    I know a man in my area that I have worked with this past summer who is putting in the structures to raise Tilapia fish locally. Right now the only tilapia you can find are shipped in from China. Why in the name of heaven would anyone want to buy fish from China versus raise it here? No idea but his business plan is well thought out and I'm eager for him to succeed. It will be nice to have a local source for my favorite fish. He is one example of many entrepreneurs who are trying to develop regional food needs. He sold his existing cabinet business to fund this and isn't getting a dime of gov't money either.

    For the record, I run a local food business from our farm. We supply beef, eggs, pork, poultry products and produce. Our business is growing quickly and I sell out of high demand products like beef quickly. I receive no gov't support at all. I'm not trying to drum up business as I don't' ship my products. I just wanted to present another POV on this topic.

    There is a farm in my area that sells milk shares for $19 a month and that entitles you to one gallon a week of raw milk. That works out to under $5 a gallon. You can pasteurize it if you wish or not. Make cheese or butter if you wish. He milks about 10 Jersies I think and can't keep up with demand. More and more of these sorts of operations are growing and they are perfectly legal and operating under state and federal laws. I know this family well and I'm quite sure that he doesn't get a dime of fed money either.

    Look on sites like www.localharvest.org and you will find farms in your area selling meats, produce and milk/dairy/eggs. These folks are your neighbors. Give them your money instead of the middleman supplying the supermarkets. Yes it will cost more than the supermarket food because these people are not getting subsidies now...so the true cost of the food is reflected in the price rather than subsidies paid by your taxes keeping the prices low. My point is that you are paying the higher prices either way...one it's just clear that you are versus having it hidden by subsidies funded by taxes.


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  4. #24
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    I agree, DB-if there was a way to funnel it to the smaller family outfits that would be ideal. I know many many small producers and they all readily admit they'll have to give up ranching in their life time. They all run between 100-400 cows, hay ground, some run dudes some just keep scrapping by while their wives go work in town to help support them. I know that at least some part of the subsidies reach my friends so I can't go against it as long as it's helping them...

    Totally agree with keeping it local too. I have two milk cows that are going to calf in March-it's completely illegal for me to sell milk in Montana except on the share process and they're already cracking down on that. I have people lined up that want milk from us but I can't legally even GIVE it to them. frustration.


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  5. #25
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    I agree with Daydream Believer. It doesn't matter, though. The Dept. of Agr. just reached an agreement to extend the subsidies for another year, so no "Milk Cliff>"

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8BT07T20121230



  6. #26
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    We agree on something? Wow! No seriously, thanks for saying that. I was only joking.

    I found this article on who actually receives the subsidies. It's interesting.

    http://usliberals.about.com/od/FoodF...-Subsidies.htm

    From the article:
    Who receives farm subsidies?"More than 90 percent of agriculture subsidies go to farmers of five crops — wheat, corn, soybeans, rice, and cotton. More than 800,000 farmers and landowners receive subsidies, but the payments are heavily tilted toward the largest producers," per The CATO Institute."From 1995-2009 the largest and wealthiest top 10 percent of farm program recipients received 74 percent of all farm subsidies with an average total payment over 15 years of $445,127 per recipient – hardly a safety net for small struggling farmers. The bottom 80 percent of farmers received an average total payment of just $8,682 per recipient," per the Environmental Working Group.From 1995 through 2009, seven states received the lions'share, 42%, of U.S. farm subsidies. Those states and their respective shares of total U.S. farm subsidies were:
    • Texas - 9.4%
    • Iowa - 8.5%
    • Illinois - 7.1%
    • Minnesota - 5.8%
    • Nebraska - 5.7%
    • Kansas - 5.5%
    • North Dakota - 4.7%



  7. #27
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    I think we have agreement on many things, and respectful discussions on others.

    I think subsidies are a big problem with our economy right now, and as you listed, it all ends up going to the big corps. anyway, pretty much like anything else. And pretty much like anything else, it will be painful, but we have to make adjustments and find a new way.



  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream Believer View Post
    We agree on something? Wow! No seriously, thanks for saying that. I was only joking.

    I found this article on who actually receives the subsidies. It's interesting.

    http://usliberals.about.com/od/FoodF...-Subsidies.htm

    From the article:
    Who receives farm subsidies?"More than 90 percent of agriculture subsidies go to farmers of five crops — wheat, corn, soybeans, rice, and cotton. More than 800,000 farmers and landowners receive subsidies, but the payments are heavily tilted toward the largest producers," per The CATO Institute."From 1995-2009 the largest and wealthiest top 10 percent of farm program recipients received 74 percent of all farm subsidies with an average total payment over 15 years of $445,127 per recipient – hardly a safety net for small struggling farmers. The bottom 80 percent of farmers received an average total payment of just $8,682 per recipient," per the Environmental Working Group.From 1995 through 2009, seven states received the lions'share, 42%, of U.S. farm subsidies. Those states and their respective shares of total U.S. farm subsidies were:
    • Texas - 9.4%
    • Iowa - 8.5%
    • Illinois - 7.1%
    • Minnesota - 5.8%
    • Nebraska - 5.7%
    • Kansas - 5.5%
    • North Dakota - 4.7%
    Don't you think it would be funny if a state without hardly any farming was getting a big percentage of those?

    There are many, many farm programs for starting farmers, many for small farmers, go look at your USDA office and see how many programs you may qualify for.
    There are programs to help protect wetlands, wildlife habitat, watersheds, loans of all kinds for everyone, way too many to explain, although the only ones that make the news are the hand picked ones by those that have a bone to pick with others, like those against what they call "big ag".

    Big ag is corporations that have many other interests than just ag, are at times multi national corporations.
    Those have to play by the same rules everyone else does and that may include some subsidies for some of the programs they may qualify for.
    All those programs have hoops to run thru to apply and limits.

    Just go by your local USDA office and ask about all that, anyone can and should do it if they have any questions, your taxes at work.


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  9. #29
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    You guys are safe: China doesn't export milk, it's still trying to feed its own people.
    NZ exports a LOT of dairy products, and guess what? The local consumer pays the export price for milk, cheese, butter, milk powder - and still survives. Fonterra NZ is one of the biggest dairy companies in the world (and owns dairy farms and factories in China).
    NZ has limited dairy exports to the USA because the powerful dairy industry lobby group has persuaded the USA govt to impose a quota, and levies to our products. The dairy industry fears that allowing imports will lead to a DROP in prices at the farm gate which would lead to a lowering of prices at the supermarket.
    Efficiency in farming methods leads to competition, which leads to lower prices. Subsidies kill the need to improve production.



  10. #30
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    I also agree with daydream believer, but maybe the subsidies should be expanded. I also noticed that California was not on your list. What cal. farmers receive is a significant property tax reduction based on the Williamson Act. I do help local ag businesses to keep their Williamson Act exemption status and other regulations that keep coming down the pike for farmers. I buy local, and the best thing is that out local big name supermarket buys local and I can shop there in addition to the local stands.

    I do support the subsidies and the alternative is very scary to me.



  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendybird View Post
    You guys are safe: China doesn't export milk, it's still trying to feed its own people.
    NZ exports a LOT of dairy products, and guess what? The local consumer pays the export price for milk, cheese, butter, milk powder - and still survives. Fonterra NZ is one of the biggest dairy companies in the world (and owns dairy farms and factories in China).
    NZ has limited dairy exports to the USA because the powerful dairy industry lobby group has persuaded the USA govt to impose a quota, and levies to our products. The dairy industry fears that allowing imports will lead to a DROP in prices at the farm gate which would lead to a lowering of prices at the supermarket.
    Efficiency in farming methods leads to competition, which leads to lower prices. Subsidies kill the need to improve production.
    That is why the European Common Market has so many ways to stop USA produce, beef one of them, because they are afraid our better, cheaper beef will make theirs obsolete, so they protect their producers.

    That is what most countries do where they can, although they can't not always, as the USA hands are tied with NAFTA.

    Those are questions that the International Tribunal in La Hage has to rule on continuously, countries complaining about trade barriers and asking for a ruling in their favor, if possible.



  12. #32
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    Actually there is a lot of agriculture in Virginia and many of the Eastern states. The difference is that our state is not a big row crop state. We do grow some commodity crops here in our area but no where near what they grow out in the midwest. If you read the article, the majority of the money goes to soy, corn, wheat, rice and cotton. We do grow cotton here but apparently not as much as elsewhere. I think also there are more small farms in general in the East and less large corporate entities that are taking the majority of the money. I would object much much less if the money was going mainly to the small farmers and producers...but it's not as you can see by the info I found.

    I honesty think we should spend less energy exporting food and grains and try to become food independent as a nation. We aren't...we import a lot of food from Mexico, Canada and the Far East. There is no reason we can't grow it here and as petroleum prices increase, hopefully locally grown food and produce will become more competitive price wise. Even in unheated high tunnels we can grow vegatables all winter in this state and there is a well known farmer, Eliot Coleman, who does it in Maine on his Four Seasons Farm. It can be done but we have to make the shift at some point. It starts by how we spend our money.

    I actually do wish there was more funding to develop the regional food systems and to encourage operations like my friend with the Tilapia farm. It doesn't seem like there is a lot of support for that. I have heard of a program to help people start up bee hives...a very lucrative one...now that bees are becoming endangered. We are considering that as an addition to our products next year as local honey is a high demand sell out item for everyone that produces it.



  13. #33
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    Go check with your USDA office, it seems you don't really know what all is out there.
    The same to your friend with the fish, I read in farm magazines about many such programs he could apply for cost share and support to start them, some even on fish raising.

    Really, go check, you may be surprised.

    You can even become a member on the board of the local office and learn even more, or talk to whoever is in your county.
    Find the list and see if some there are your neighbors or friends.

    Some information bandied around here seems to come from questionable sources.
    Go to the horse's mouth directly for more.


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  14. #34
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    DB-many of us are real supporters and are here to help. I am in CA. and help local ag with regulations but if I can help you in any way, please ask. As I have stated on another thread, I can only help for free but I have helped a number of farmers.



  15. #35
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    Please stop using corporations as an excuse to not by dairy products at the grocery store. In Colorado the ONLY dairy owned by a corporation, not a family is Aurora Organics which supplies Horizon Organic Milk. You might have heard of them as they get busted several times a year for having a 'hot' tank, or one that has tested positive for antibiotics. You know, the things they aren't even supposed to have on the premises

    Every other dairy is owned by an individual, or a family. Like ours. We are an LLC for tax and insurance reasons. The 3500 cow dairy going in up the road is owned by a family. He started as a herdsman on another dairy and has grown to that in his lifetime. We survived 2009, when a local 10,000 cow dairy took under a bank and multiple other dairies.

    I have been on the Hill this year lobbying to get the farm bill passed. Everybody is so worried about protecting the processor, not the producer. The average person in the US doesn't even know that over 80% of the Farm Bill goes to Food Stamps

    Nobody in the dairy industry wants to see the fiscal cliff. Because it means that the US gov't has to buy enough product to drive market to the $40 price. Then people who have been buying milk powder, cheese and butter, will purchase it from another country for 1/3 of the price, so we will get hung out to dry with absolutely no demand for our product.

    And for the record, the price of fluid milk is actually set by the price of cheese, not vice versa
    Quote Originally Posted by The Saddle View Post
    Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.



  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by stolen virtue View Post
    DB-many of us are real supporters and are here to help. I am in CA. and help local ag with regulations but if I can help you in any way, please ask. As I have stated on another thread, I can only help for free but I have helped a number of farmers.
    Thanks! I am fortunate that Virginia is a very good state to be a small farmer in and is supportive of local food development. It is great to hear you are so active and I sure appreciate your offer to help.



  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    I think we have agreement on many things, and respectful discussions on others.

    I think subsidies are a big problem with our economy right now, and as you listed, it all ends up going to the big corps. anyway, pretty much like anything else. And pretty much like anything else, it will be painful, but we have to make adjustments and find a new way.
    Thanks for your post and it is nice to find common ground with folks. Even Bluey and I agree on stuff now and then. ;-)

    I appreciate all that have posted in support of my point. I do think we really have to do this...regional food production....for many reasons..environment, cost control and sustainability. I'm utterly grossed out at the idea of eating anything from China...fish, etc...and do my best to support other local businesses. It may seem backwards in a global economy to build regional systems but with something as critical as our food supply, we can't be too careful.

    Bluey, I will check that site. I generally avoid the USDA as they generally want more from me than I do from them, but I will go and see what they are offering at least.



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