In defense of Dairy Farmers.

Don Maroc maroc at
Sun Apr 7 13:45:13 EDT 2002

Here in British Columbia, Canada, we have a smooth-running supply/management
system that keeps the volume and quality of milk constant year around.  The
system is criticized by many people, including some dairy farmers who
certainly benefit from it.  Because of supply/management it is possible for
good dairymen to make a comfortable family income milking 80 to 160 cows.
Thanks to a scandal among top managers at the Ministry of Health a few years
ago the use of rBST (or rBGH) is illegal, reducing stress on both the
milking cows and the farmers.  The supply/management system may not last
much longer under the NAFTA "free trade" agreement.  The dairy farmers on
Vancouver Island also collectively own a co-op (Island Farms Dairy) dairy
plant in Victoria.  A similar, but much larger, co-op on the mainland
(Dairyland or Fraser Valley Co-op) got too big, shed it's co-op structure,
became a publicly listed corporation, was scooped up by Parmalat, and the
farmers are now just cogs on the corporate wheel.  The corporate farming
model reminds me of the great state farms which helped sink the Soviet

Don Maroc
Vancouver Island, Canada

> From: "Ed Clifford" <hmdrawrod at>
> Reply-To: "Market Farming" <market-farming at>
> Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 08:46:43 -0400
> To: "Market Farming" <market-farming at>
> Subject: [market-farming] In defense of Dairy Farmers.
> Most of the talk of Dairy farmers on this list seems to portray them as old
> fashioned farmers, doddering along, listening to what big AG and gov't have
> been telling them. I am not a Dairy farmer, I farm a small part of a larger
> 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 like
> the price supports, he believe it keeps prices low, by keeping too many
> people in the game.
> Despite low prices he makes money every year. Him, his wife, and her
> father, grow all the food, care, and milking needed for 160 head.

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