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46,000 Dairy Farms Closed Down in Last 10 Years

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posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 12:34 AM

46,000 Dairy Farms Closed Down in Last 10 Years

Times are especially bad for dairy farmers across the United States. About 40% of all dairy farms (or 46,000) went out of business over the last 10 years, due to falling milk prices and rising costs. Farmers went from getting $21.70 per hundred pounds of milk to $11.30 from 2007 to 2009, while animal feed costs increased 35% and fuel prices rose 30%.

A big problem resides in the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) system, which the U.S. government created during the Depression as a way to keep dairy farmers in business. “Today, however, the FMMO system has become a weapon used by huge
(visit the link for the full news article)

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posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 12:34 AM
Short, but very interesting and troubling article about the continued erosion of our small family owned dairy farms in the USA.

This FMMO which the article mentions is an absolutely outstanding example of how corporate interests have bought off our lawmakers. The program originally was intended to operate very much like a minimum wage law for dairy farmers. It set a minimum price, based on market/economic conditions and subject to interested parties arguing for or against the set price. Each different region of the US was subject to their own pricing structure. Also considered was what the milk would be used for (with milk intended to be drank by people recieving the highest pricing and scaling down through milk as an ingredient, animal feed source, finally down to industrial... non-consumable component.).

When the FMMO was originally established, there were 31 individual marketing orders to establish 31 different minimum prices. This meant that the prices could be fine tuned quite adequately, ensuring that the smaller family farms were protected from price gouging and undercutting from the huge industrial scale dairies.

In 1996, the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act was signed into law by Bull Clinton. One of the things this bill did was instruct the FDA to "simplify" the FMMO process, narrowing the number of orders down to 11. The law also eliminated all milk price supports established through direct government purchase from small farms (this is what originally created those little cartons of milk millions of school kids enjoyed at lunch in public schools, BTW.)

This act effectively set the table for the destruction of the family dairy farm. God help us all when the only source for milk in this country is from dairies with thousands of cattle restrained in chutes all day, eating a high corn diet, with mechanical milkers attached to udders and RBST needles hanging out of their flanks...
but I fear that day is coming quickly.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 12:48 AM
Living in America's dairy land I can say that the amount of family owned farmers has definately decreased. The profits just are not there anymore. The money they make off of milk production is mearly a small dent in the expenses it requires to maintain the farms. The expense of the equipment to work the fields to raise crops to feed the cows are increasing everyday. My aunt and uncle owned a dairy farm that they had inherited from my Uncles parents. Right around the late 90's they were forced to auction off their farm as their only option other than bankruptcy. I loved going to that farm and even helped out when I could. Farming is the heart of the country, but more and more we see America going more towards the corporate style farms with thousand of cattle in a factory like setting. They say happy cows come from california? No sir,how can a happy cow be happy living in a warehouse with a thousand others. Happy cows come from wisconsin, where they have family owned farms who can take more time to care for them.

[edit on 10-7-2010 by Roadie]

posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 12:49 AM
While I love a nice tall cold glass of milk, especially with a mean PB&J, milk is just not necessary to the human diet. One of milk's greatest selling points is it is a source of calcium, but there are other natural sources of calcium, and as to the contention that milk is a good source of vitamin D; the sun is and always has been the best source of vitamin D.

If ever there was a time to boycott a product, corporate farmed milk would be that product. If you can't find a small organic dairy farmer to buy your milk from, then just stop buying it. No one can force you to buy milk. You don't need milk to survive. All people who have found success at whatever they set out to do were willing to give up something in order to obtain that success. What are you willing to give up to stop corporate farming? Stop buying their products! Just stop it!! Ignore them and they will go away!!!

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 05:03 AM
Hmm interesting.. I see this is a larger trend and not just something isolated I have seen around where I live. In Northern California behind the Redwood Curtain, our local organic dairy recently went into bankruptcy over these items plus added embezzlement by the CEO. Our local Humboldt Creamery was bought out by.... guess who!

If you guessed Foster Farms, then you are correct..

Other smaller local dairies have closed as well.
Great to see that the government totally supports small businesses and doesn't cater to the needs of the super-rich.

Oh wait, that's right, we live in corporate fascism.


posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 05:23 AM
reply to post by NoEXcUseS

I feel really lucky that when our local dairy went bankrupt a few years ago, several local groups combined their resources and efforts and bought the place. It still produces and sells milk and dairy products today, made from steroid/hormone free (aside from the hormones the cows themselves produce internally) grass fed dairy cows. It costs a bit more, but my 2 1/2 year old daughter will not drink commercial milk, yet she will drink this like it's going out of style.

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 05:38 AM
Could another reason be that so many people have switched to soy milk? Practically everyone I know has. About 15 years ago I switched to soy, and just recently, I switched again to almond milk, which is even healthier.

I don't like hearing about family-owned farms going out of business, but the ones that didn't go organic when they started adding hormones to milk made a mistake I think.

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 06:37 AM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

Exactly right. We don't need milk...only baby cows do. However, the dairy industry is not unique here. This is happening to all of our industries, both those whose products we can do without and some we can't.

This article just underscores how seemingly benign and well-intentioned big government programs create opportunities for predatory corporations.

And while some people do resist (and I pray this trend continues), choosing to either do without or create and support local alternatives. And while some pockets of smaller business still exist, like in Wisconsin, perhaps, they do so because it just hasn't been their turn yet, and they won't exist for long.

The vast majority, however, don't notice or they don't care because they see the initially cheap prices and embrace that but for the most part just deaf, dumb, and blindly accept what they view as progress or inevitable. They don't see or think about the many layered, long term effects, implications, and consequences of this. And so the numbers are on the side of the giants. And don't think the giants don't realize this and use it.

Unless enough people do realize the implications and consequences of this trend, decide it's important, refocus, and change it, we're stuck with it and all it's downsides.

We're putting more and more control over our lives into the hands of a few. The few who are so integrated into government, they are becoming the government, your government.

The few who have demonstrated time and time again that 1.) they don't care about people or what happens to people...they're all about the numbers and 2.) they get the power to make decisions that are seemingly well-intentioned "for the common good" but in the end wind up dictating to us or trapping us or worse.

Supporting the large conglomerates affects our pockets in the case of all industries...we pay what they say.

In the case of the food, pharma, and healthcare industries, for example, it's going to affect our health primarily, both physical and mental.

In the case of the finance industry, they control your life via credit and credit scores. Want a job/house/apartment/insurance and have a bad "credit score," aww too bad. You don't get one, or you pay through the nose for it.

In the case of the energy industries, it affects our choices for us and our planet (stick with oil because we've decided wind is not in the people's best interests). Can we get off their grids? Yes, but they're going to do everything in their power to stop us.

In the case of the military industrial complex, it affects our . Can we do without wars, Jean? Yep. But they can't.

So many people don't even realize these things or even a lot of the companies that still "seem" small are part of large conglomerates. They hide this because it would alarm more people.

The upside is that it's not too late. As people here have mentioned, trends are developing to ensure that people still have choices. Think, support, and buy locally. And see, here again is the key. Locally. Get AWAY from big government via big corporate. They are the same.

But unless these trends go viral, unless we get the word out and get it out fast. to identify the pitfalls and dangers in a simple way, we're sunk.

[edit on 7/11/2010 by ~Lucidity]

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 07:01 AM
reply to post by ~Lucidity

Yes they have infiltrated our government, and yes they have come to control what we eat, what we watch, what we read, and how we finance that. Yes they will do everything possible to stop us from extracting ourselves from the system, and getting off the grid. I know only too well. But can they beat us? Never! They cannot beat you, and they cannot beat me, and they will not beat any others who understand the problem, and what needs to be done.

Who needs credit scores when you pay with cash, or barter, or do what is necessary to survive? As it is with anything, whatever we want in life, it always comes down to what we are willing to give up in order to get that. Even if this information goes viral, will most people give up their comfort zones in order to get what it is they really want? No, Lucidity most people will not. Expedience is, and always has been the enemy. It is expedience that created this monster known as corporatism, and it is expedience that has ensured their growth, because it is expedience that has people agreeing to all of the intrusions they now suffer.

We cannot rely on the masses to beat them Lucidity, and revolutionaries never could. It is never the masses who fight at the front lines of battles like these, it is always the warrior poets who lead the fight, and when the masses have no other choice to fight, then and only then will they fight. When they have lost everything, and have nothing left to loose, then it will become expedient for them to fight. In the meantime it is up to warrior poets, to fight the fight, and beat them at their games.

When the rules work against us, it becomes necessary to change the rules, and while we work at changing those rules we continue to fight, do what we can to inform so that when the time comes, and it is expedient for people to do so, they will know who it is they are fighting and why.

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 06:59 PM
reply to post by electropop

That's likely a "who you know and where you live" thing rather than an overall trend. I don't know anyone who buys soy milk or almond milk apart from my wife who is lactose intolerant. In fact, I've often noticed how seldom you ever see any empty space on the soy/almond milk shelves in the store and wondered how long the turnover rate is for them.

Then again, I can't stand the taste, texture, or idea of artificial milk, so maybe I'm biased.

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 08:16 PM

Originally posted by burdman30ott6
I don't know anyone who buys soy milk or almond milk apart from my wife who is lactose intolerant.

-Raises hand-

I haven't bought regular milk in over a decade. Almond milk is much tastier and keeps for a lot longer.

As for regular milk...I always wondered why we as a society drink something that is full of enzymes and what not that has evolved to contribute to the maturation of an animal that is not human.

The Asian culture evolved without milk and arguably didn't need it when we imposed our commercial ventures after World War II.

Certainly, for some people, the choice should remain but I really have no desire to save the industry save for some concerns on local economies...

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 10:00 PM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

Your post gives me a lot to think about. Thanks for the inspirational talk and the reminder. What also gives me hope is the movements just like this starting in many small towns in the northeast, they're thinking locally and supporting locally. We need more of that. I think people band together more when there isn't much choice left but to do so. Better late than never, I guess. That isn't happening so much in my part of GA yet, but it's starting to, with traveling farmer's markets from local producers, and people are really stepping up to it. It's a start.

(I drink soy or almond milk too, and have for about 20 years. My son, whose 20 now, rarely has milk products (pizza's the usual!) And, actually, the supermarkets here are increasing the shelf space for these regularly, so that's a good sign too.)

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 03:33 AM
reply to post by MemoryShock

It's a holdover from pre-industrial revolution society. I believe that cow, goat, and sheep milk came to be viewed as a staple of man's diet because it was a renewable source of nutrition which didn't require any particular season to be available and didn't require the slaughter of any animal. Most animals will produce as much milk as there is demand for (within reason, obviously), meaning if you had a cow with a calf, the cow will produce all the milk the calf needs and, if milked, will also provide a generous amount to be collected for people.

It also is a miraculous substance, lending itself to not just milk but butter, cheese, cream, and whatnot.

I adore milk. I always have. I'm among the supposedly low percentage of people who is completely lactose tolerant and has no symptoms whatsoever of a milk alergy. Unfortunately, I'm currently on an Atkins based diet and, thus, am not drinking any actual milk. I can (and do) enjoy cheese, butter, and heavy cream in abundance. I'd really hate to see a day when my only options to get those items (and milk for my kids) is some conglomerate.

posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 06:29 AM
Agricultural subsidies have killed off the effectiveness of the American agricultural sector . I don't see why American dairy farmers would be all that immune to this handicap other then the ones that wisely operate in the Free Market . Subsidies have prevented many American farmers from looking to overseas markets to sell there products in time when there is a global demand for food .

Cheers xpert11.

posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 07:22 AM
Yes humans don't need milk, our early ancestors had to actually build up a tolerance to it...not natural to drink another species milk, we are the only animal that does so. Strange that most humans find it gross to drink our own species milk, yet find it normal to drink anothers. I don't know many folks that would buy cheese made from breast milk anyway. I think farming across the spectrum is being hit very hard in all honesty, it's not just dairy farmers. Oh and i don't recommend people drink soy milk, you should only use soy products in moderation...although i would simply stay clear of them.

[edit on 12-8-2010 by Solomons]

posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 07:44 AM
yeah this dairy farmer loss is also dramatically happening in Australia too. Same deal. Lower prices, increased cost. Then those farms get bought by overseas buyers who use the land to produce food that gets exported to their countries of mass population and origin.

The supermarkets have a monopoly on the market over here pretty much, and keep saying to the farmers, cut your prices lower, or we wont buy from you. The thing is the farmers cut keep going down, but the consumer price keeps going up in huge amounts. It just makes me angry how our farmers get treated.

posted on Sep, 29 2010 @ 12:36 AM
what? no comments on how much the dairy farmers in Australia (and probably other countries) are fraked due to supermarket monopolies?

posted on Sep, 29 2010 @ 07:23 AM
I also grew up in Dairy land in Ohio.

When I was growing up, we would drive into the dairy, start the stir paddle in the tank for a few minutes and then dip an old pickle jar in it. Then we would leave a few bucks under a spanner wrench and drive home.

However, that guy was bought out by the government who paid him to get rid of his dairy cows.

Even as a kid that seemed really odd to me.

edit on 29-9-2010 by HunkaHunka because: spelling

posted on Sep, 29 2010 @ 07:32 AM
No one thought that closing down the majority of our manufacturing was a big deal. Then the family farms started to be sold-off and the land developed for houses. Now the dairy farms. Some day we're going to look back and realize exactly how stupid we've been.

When I was a kid (50+ years ago) we lived in a nice middle class (remember them? the middle class?) suburb. Our milk was delivered from one of two local dairies in our town of 25,000. We often went for made-on-the-premises ice cream at the other. Every week my dad would drive us down to Harrington's Farm (about 2 miles away) and we'd pick up our eggs. In the summer, we'd stop by one of four farms to buy vegetables and fruit. All but one are gone. Houses and condos.

posted on Sep, 29 2010 @ 07:43 AM
reply to post by burdman30ott6


We're talking cowmilk here, right??

Because Dairy goat farms are doing healthy business in the U.S.!! Wonder what that's all about....

Dairy Goat Numbers on the Rise in the U.S.

Goat dairy farm doing healthy business

Goat, dairy farms are following a reverse trend from cow dairy farms, said the extension service agent. “There’s a lot of interest in goats,” he said. “It’s not on the decline, it’s on the increase, but it’s a lot of small operations. Dairy farms in Henry County are extinct, we don’t have any cattle, dairy farms.”

Goats probably have a smaller carbon footprint or something....


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