There has been a worldwide oversupply of dairy products for much of the past 50 years. In the 1970s, Rep. Kiki Delagarza, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, expressed an understanding for the need for supply management of dairy.
However, the rest of Congress decided to go the way of “Fantasy Island,” a term used by Rep. Delagarza. Congress decided to ignore the need for a supply management system for dairy. The oversupply situation has only gotten worse since then, leaving many farmers penniless and farm communities broken.
Canada’s supply management system is a realistic response to the worldwide oversupply of dairy products. We have chosen a very harmful and unrealistic policy of little to no controls. This is why we have the continuing dairy farm crisis.
Our nation sees the ownership of land going to fewer and fewer landowners; they are often dependent on out-of-the-area lenders. This historically has not boded well for any nation.
Samuel Dyer, who was quoted in your May 1 dairy article, understands this problem very well after being in the dairy industry for 35 years. Rep. Elise Stefanik should listen to him. She should support the institution of a supply management system for our dairy farms. Why would anyone who is in the know suggest a program to encourage young people to get into the dairy industry when only misery is in the offering with the ongoing oversupply situation?
Dr. George Palmer, who was also quoted in your May 1 article, asked why we can’t export the powdered milk. The reason is that there is a worldwide surplus of dairy products. It is poor business to produce for a nonexistent market. The price received is below the price of production. Why would anybody do it?
The family farm system, supported by supply management, is good for the consumer and for the producer. It is definitely good for the greater agricultural community.
Our elected officials should be reasonable and support supply management for the dairy industry. You can no longer ignore the fact that we’ve had a worldwide oversupply of dairy products for more than 50 years.
By: Barbara and Clifford Schell
Source: Watertown Daily Times