Dear Secretary Perdue,
I, like millions of others around the world, have felt uneasy for several weeks now. But as I write this the uneasiness has turned into fear.
I am a dairy farmer and I am afraid of what is coming. As I watch our milk price on the futures market fall, I see a train barreling towards us. This train is unlike any other. It is faster, louder, and came out of nowhere.
Farmers across the country are in bad shape, but dairy farmers, in particular, are the walking wounded on the tracks. We are too injured from the last several years of poor prices. We can’t get out of the path. Those in Washington have a choice to make. They can watch dairy farms across the country die on the tracks or they can slow the train and the casualties. I don’t want to be writing to ask for help but I see no other way.
There is no doubt that the Dairy Margin Coverage program has saved farms. It has been both tourniquet for our industry and bandage for our farms. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see the current desperate situation we are in today coming before the signup period closed. When enrollment closed many farms hadn’t signed up, whether it was because they had been burned by the MMP program, they were unable to financially cover the premiums needed, or the program was based on milk production numbers that were too outdated to help their farm. Dairy farmers are eternal optimists and when DMC enrollment closed the markets looked stable and our industry groups were coming together to work out a better path forward so we didn’t find ourselves back where we were. We couldn’t have known what was coming down the tracks.
The DMC program will not be able to save every farm, but because the framework already exists it is the best option to provide the quick response needed before our dairy farm families bleed out along the tracks. I am asking you to support reopening the Dairy Margin Coverage program. We need your help to save our farms.
Wisconsin Dairy Farmer
Fellow farmers and dairy farm supporters, please contact your Senators and Congressmen and ask for their support in reopening the Dairy Margin Coverage program. You can find contact information for your representatives HERE.