Quite a pleasant drive. I have never before had the pleasure of drinking unpasteurized milk and had been looking for a certified raw milk dairy in Texas that was fairly nearby. I did find one closer that had goat milk, but the owner told me that she's full up with customers. That's great, although it wasn't so much for me before I found the other place. After I got home, I took a drink and it was quite delicious, didn't really taste much different except that it seemed much fuller-bodied than refrigerator milk. The cost of it was a little more than twice what one would pay for a gallon in the store. Does make me think I wouldn't mind having a milk cow or goat for my own.
At the NAIS Listening Session I went to, it seemed like the only few people who were actually for National Animal Identification System were from some dairy council, like Dairy Farmers in Texas or something simliar. I was wondering why,when so many other groups that cross a wide range of people and occupations, the dairy people were so much for it.I read this article yesterday.
BARNHART, MO. -- A collapse in milk prices in the U.S. has wiped out profits of U.S. dairy farmers, driving many out of business while forcing others to slaughter their herds or dump milk in protest.
But nine months after prices began tumbling on the farm, consumers aren't seeing the full benefits of the crash at the checkout counter.
The average price for a U.S. gallon of milk at grocery stores last month is down 19% from its peak of $3.83 in July. Farmers, on the other hand, got $1.04 a gallon in April -- 35% less than they were paid last fall. This winter, wholesale prices were down as much as 45%.
If I understand this article correctly, even though the cost to farmers has dropped, farmers are not reaping the benefits of the price changes, because of middlemen who actually sell the milk to the stores.
The price paid by processors to farmers is set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture based on commodity markets, which rise and fall with global demand. Some of the raw milk is processed into milk for stores as well as butter, yogurt and other products for U.S. consumption. The rest becomes powdered milk, cheese and whey for international and domestic markets.
So. Could this be why there's such an anxiousness on the part of the dairy industry to make sure NAIS and tagging are acceptable to the EU and other import markets outside of the US?
U.S. milk exports soared last year and demand grew in countries like China while supplies dropped from Europe and Australia. U.S dairy exports jumped to $3.82 billion, or 11% all milk production in 2008 according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Wholesale prices jumped.
Dairies responded to the demand by increasing production.
Which was fine until the bottom dropped out of export markets. But surely NAIS wouldn't help THAT.
NAIS aside, I guess I don't know much about the big dairy industry. It is just shocking to me that the USDA would pay farmer to slaughter their dairy cows.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also said he is not eager to remake the USDA milk pricing program. Instead, he wants to see if a range of recent actions might buoy wholesale prices. USDA recently donated 500,000 pounds of excess powdered milk to needy countries to reduce U.S. supplies, and a new program will pay farmers to slaughter more than 100,000 dairy cows.
If there are any that are reading that that would like to expound some more on the USDA commodity markets with regard to dairy, I'd love to hear it. I did see a movie a few months ago called King Corn that was about corn and it was an eye opener.