The COVID-19 pandemic is playing havoc with our food distribution systems all across the nation. And we are seeing it here in Wisconsin as dairy farmers are being forced to dump raw milk as their markets decline with the closures of schools, restaurants, and other retailers.

Yet there are milk shortages in the market and new needs for dairy products as people are turning to food pantries and charities as they lose jobs and income.

So there is a lot of planning and adjustments that need to be made to reroute valuable food and dairy products to the places where they are needed.

But to rub salt into the open wound, despite farmers having to dump unwanted milk because the dairies can’t take anymore as the local market shrinks….the dairy farmers are still required to pay marketing fees for the dumped milk.

But even as farmers are forced to dump their highly perishable product, in some cases they’re being charged marketing fees on it.

By law, Wisconsin dairy farms are required to pay state and national milk marketing programs 15 cents for every hundred pounds, about 12 gallons, of milk they sell. Ten cents goes to state and regional programs such as Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. A nickel goes to national programs such as Dairy Management Inc., based in Rosemont, Illinois.

If farmers receive some reimbursement for dumped milk, from their cooperative for example, they have to pay the fees on it that help fund dairy product promotions.

This is just nuts and something that should be put on hiatus until we move out of pandemic mode. Even before we went into lock down mode, dairy farmers were suffering from record low milk prices, they shouldn’t be made to suffer twice for a situation they can not control.

The bill being worked on in Madison and the next one coming out of Washington should support farmers of all types in a big way and at minimum remove the fees for marketing for dairy farmers until we see our way out of the pandemic.

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One Response to Protecting Our Farmers? This Is Just Nuts!

  1. Edward Susterich says:

    The dairy farmers getting screwed by mandatory marketing checkoffs paid to Dairy Marketing Inc. was well covered by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: In an article last year–

    Prominant in the corruptive practices is ex-Secretary of Agriculture in the Obama administration, Tom Vilsack (ex-governor of Iowa, Democrat). He fills his pockets at about $1,000,000 a year in this marketing scam. He has no shame–he is insulted by inquiries about his compensation.

    Democrat? No, Corporate Democrat.

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