Dairy Farmers and Rural Communities to Congress: 'Don't Let Us Down'Wed, 05 Dec 2012 13:53:41 CST
In a letter delivered to Members of Congress this week, 42 organizations and 149 businesses, which serve dairy farmers and rural communities, called on federal lawmakers to review the dairy policies that have contributed to the financial crisis experienced by the majority of dairy farmers across the United States.
The letter stated, "Federal dairy policies have been hammering dairy farmers for more than 30 years. There were 600,000 U.S. dairy farms in 1976, dropping to 131,509 by 1992, and to 51,481 by 2012. It is unthinkable that Congress continues to formulate policies that will likely be responsible for a continued decline in the number of U.S. dairy farms." The letter continued, "This crisis in not just affecting farmers and their families, but also the entire rural economy."
A press tele-conference will be hosted by the National Family Farm Coalition on Tuesday December 11th featuring dairy farmers directly impacted by the low milk prices paid to dairy farmers.
As their letter stated, "The federal milk pricing formula leaves dairy farmers unable to cover their basic cost of production, but equally important is the loss of a substantial number of support businesses that fold when dairy farmers are not paid enough to cover the bills they owe these service providers and suppliers." As neither the House nor Senate draft farm bills make these needed reforms, the letter urges Members, "take swift action to implement equitable federal dairy policies based on fairness and cost of production in the dairy provision of the 2012 Farm Bill."
The complete letter and list of signatories is available by clicking here.
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