When and If we make money someday dairy farming...please don't be mad at us.
When and If we make a living on a farm we love...please don't begrudge us.
When and If we produce a safe and wholesome product for a profit...please don't grumble at us.
When and If all of our hard work, tears, sweat and blood finally pays off...please don't curse us.
Right now we are experiencing our WORST year ever as dairy farmers. While we have only been farming for a little over 4 years, this has been hands down the worst year. We are paying more for expenses (feed, fuel, fertilizer, vet, etc.) than we ever had, as well as coping with the lowest milk prices in years. For ourselves, we were smart and saved up a small "insurance fund" for the rough spots. But the rough spots are lasting longer than any of us ever expected. We look forward to $15 milk, when we are getting paid $10 for every 100 pounds of milk. It's not that $15 will make us money, but that $15 will at least pay the bills. We would prefer $17-18 instead-but that seems like a distant dream now. We are not begging for government intervention or massive milk supply contraction. We are working hard to make our farm more efficient. We control our costs-spending money only on things that will make us money or needs to be spent. We would like consumers to purchase and use more dairy products-as the are an important part of balanced diet.
We know that the market will turn around sometime...it's just the time that we have to survive through. We have hope that things will get better. We mourn the lost of our friends and fellow dairymen that have not weathered this storm as well as we have. It's a shame to lose so many to a bad economy, but it is the way the system works. So many that worked so hard and with so much passion to make a living, only to watch it all be taken away from them. So sad. So sad.
So when we do make it back to $17-18 milk, please don't complain about the prices in the stores. Please don't complain, because we receive only a small amount of the retail price. Please know instead that a farm family is finally making a living instead of paying for the opportunity to work. They are instead, finally getting paid to go to work, every other American. We put so much passion in what we do. If we were truly in this industry to make money....well we would have quit by now, especially this year. We would have said "screw this! It's too hard of work for such little pay"....but the truth is that we love what we do, we love the cows that we work with, we love feeding the people of the world with a nutritious product, we love giving back to our communities, we love giving back to our environments....even if we have to do it with little or no pay. Dairying is what we love. Please don't complain, because that gallon of milk you just bought was made with love, passion, devotion....from the entire dairy industry. Just a matter of When and If....