Stand with Diary Farmers Today!
OF SPECIAL CONCERN:
What I have personally seen in the large corporate dairy farms is beyond belief. For this reason, I only buy organic milk today and am very careful as to where my milk comes from. As you have seen from past blogs, I take very seriously what near-death experiencers and those who have undergone the transformational process go through afterward. These experiences change one, and sometimes drastically. That directly affects the food and drink one has afterward, pharmaceuticals/medications, and the various energies one is exposed to. Today, our dairy farmers, the good ones, need our help. They are being forced out of business by large firms who care more for profit than product. And they have lost interest in treating cows as the living beings they are. The following is a cry for help. I hope you can respond.
Thank you, PMH Atwater
From: "Food Democracy Now Team"
Last Friday in Madison, Wisconsin dairy farmers from across America came together1 to tell stories of price manipulation, antitrust violations and corruption in the dairy industry to Department of Justice and USDA officials. Like the previous two sessions, Food Democracy Now! was there to stand with farmers and represent your voices.
We heard why an investigation into dairy price fixing during the George W. Bush administration, one DOJ official stated that the dairy industry was "more corrupt than Enron." If we didn't believe it before, we do now. Many of these stories were heartbreaking, as dairy farmers talked about being forced to sell their herds and losing their farms. Unbelievably, the results of that investigation have not been released yet.
Right now we have unprecedented opportunity to hold corporations accountable. They have used their influence to rake in more profits, while driving farmers off the land, as they go deeper into debt with each passing month and no end in sight to this corruption.
It's time to take on corporate power in our food supply. Stand with farmers today to tell the Department of Justice that enough is enough.
For the past 18 months America's dairy farmers have faced their worst crisis since the Great Depression3 while at the same time, giant dairy processors and co-ops have taken in record profits.
While dairy farmers have suffered historic low prices in 2009, their dairy processors and the "farmer-owned" co-ops that are supposed to offer them a fair price, have been skimming off all the profits. In 2009, Dean Foods profits soared to $76.2 million, more than 254% higher than 2008.4 During this same time, farmers have been taking on record debt, with a 100 head dairy farm losing more than $10,000 per month on average.
Countless pleas for justice and numerous attempts to remedy the situation have failed, both in Congress and at the USDA. Why?
Much of this inequity in the dairy industry can be traced directly to the excessive consolidation in the sector, which has bred the same type of corruption that we have recently witnessed in many other sectors of our economy and society.6 And despite the benefit of having this hearing, time is running out for many dairy farmers as they are being crushed under a burden of mounting monthly debt. Many have said that they can no longer hold on.
Today farmers need you to stand with them and tell the Department of Justice that we will no longer tolerate corruption at the hands of corporate power. Lobbyists are hard at work on a daily basis telling a very different story. Our voices need to be louder. Will you use your voice today? It only takes a moment.
Then please tell your friends and join us over at FightBigFood.org as we challenge corporate power for America's farmers, families and the future of our food.
Thank for your creating food democracy today -
Dave, Lisa and The Food Democracy Now! Team
We need to keep the pressure on! Please donate to Food Democracy Now today - whether it's $5, $10 or $25, every bit helps! We rely on folks like you to keep us going. Thank you!
1. Dairy Farmers, Shrinking Profits Pinching Industry, June 26, 2010, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
2. John Kinsman and Joel Greeno: Unfair milk prices are destroying dairy farmers, June 18, 2010, The Cap Times
3. "Stand up for Rural America While You Still Can", Grist.org, June 16, 2009
4. "Dairy Farmers Sue Dean Foods", Vermont Press Bureau, October 10, 2009
5. "Dairy Processors Profits "Legal Steal", Some Say", The-Daily-Record.com, September 24, 2009
6. "Independent Farmers Feel Squeezed By Milk Cartel", National Public Radio, August 20, 2009