Dear Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue:
I want to personally thank you for the millions of dollars that you have made available to the American dairy farmers. This is the first time that I can remember when a US Secretary of Agriculture has taken a position to make funds available to American dairy farmers. Your action is much appreciated.
The following petition is being circulated by the Dairy Farmers’ Freedom Committee in connection with the Progressive Agriculture Organization (Pro Ag)
However, as a result of actions taken or not taken by the United States Congress or the USDA, the number of dairy farmers in the US has declined from nearly 360,000 in 1981 down to the present level of approximately 40,000. The loss of these dairy farmers has had a devastating effect on rural America. The end result is the following: During each of the years 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, dairy farmers have lost nearly 12 billion dollars with the loss to rural America of about 60 billion dollars per year.
Actions must be taken to preserve our remaining dairy farms. Therefore we are requesting that you immediately conduct milk hearings across the United States, giving our average dairy farmers an opportunity to tell you how deplorable conditions are on the majority of our dairy farms.
There are three or four things we are asking you to consider at the hearing. 1) It is time for a new pricing formula in our Federal Orders to be changed to consider the dairy farmers’ cost of production.
2) If a milk supply management program is needed, it should be patterned after the program contained in the Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act (formerly known as S-1640 or the Specter-Casey Bill).
3) It is time that an investigation be conducted to determine if the usage of whey protein concentrate and milk protein concentrate is safe to be used, and the impact these products are having on the so-called surplus of milk in the United States.
4) If everything else fails, then a $20 per cwt. (hundredweight) floor price must be placed under milk used to manufacture dairy products. This letter will be circulated all across the United States. I hope you can act immediately upon it. We are submitting a large number of petitions to you, already signed by dairy farmers and consumers. Anyone that is circulating this petition may remit it to Pro-Ag at our address, 1300 Rattlesnake Hill Rd, Meshoppen, PA 18630.