In defense of Dairy Farmers.

Jill Taylor Bussiere jdt at
Sun Apr 7 09:39:20 EDT 2002

    I also know some dairy farmers that are small, and are making it.  Our
neighbors have no more than 60 milking, and they grow all their own food,
don't work off the farm, and are making it.  They farm traditionally, with
new efficiencies, but won't grow GMO's.

    I know another farmer who has switched to organic - 40 -60 cows,
rotational grazing, guaranteed $18 per hundredweight all year long, lower
vet bills, less physical labor with the rotational grazing.

    I know another farmer who has switched from traditional to rotational
grazing - his life is much finer.  More time, fewer vet bills, less work.

    And another who has switched to organic milk, and is also raising
organic beef.  He is in, I think, his last year of transitional to organic.

    There are also, in Wisconsin, a whole group of cattle grazers
developing - not through any program, in fact, government/extension
resources were scarce.  Nonetheless, these mostly young farmers see that it
is easier to get into farming this way - lower outlay of capital, easier
life, healthier animals, demand for the product at the other end.

    So I have hope that "saner" ways of farming will prevail, only because
they are easier and healthier.

    So, I like you, see models for successful small farmers.

> Most of the talk of Dairy farmers on this list seems to portray them as
> fashioned farmers, doddering along, listening to what big AG and gov't
> been telling them. I am not a Dairy farmer, I farm a small part of a
> farm that I own. The remainder is leased to a local Dairy Farmer. My
> neighbor is among the best farmers and people I have known. He doesn't
> the price supports, he believe it keeps prices low, by keeping too many
> people in the game.

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