Dump your milk: California dairymen say two-day dump would help market

SALEM, Ohio — A group of California dairy farmers is hoping a planned milk dump will gain steam across the United States and help to bring some relief to their bottom line.

John Gailey, manager for Milky Way Dairy, which milks 4,000 cattle in Visalia, Calif., is spearheading the effort, dubbed National Do Not Ship Milk Days.

“There are going to be a lot of dairy producers who just don’t survive this,” Gailey said referring to the low prices and high production costs being incurred by dairy farmers across the country.

The milk dump is planned for May 31 and June 1.

Gailey said the reason for those dates is so that the loss is spread over two milk checks. In addition, Sundays and Mondays are usually the days when milk is in highest demand at milk plants, which results in the most impact to the industry.

He added the group’s goal is to get at least 2 million milk cows involved in the dump.

Gailey said if the milk from that many cattle doesn’t make it into the system, the industry will definitely feel the impact.

He estimated the milk dump would remove 1 percent of the milk supply if dairy producers would participate fully. This would help to bring the supply and demand closer to the balance that is needed in the market place.

The event is different from other milk dumps because those participating are asked to let a dairyman from another participating dairy monitor where the milk goes that day.

One alternative the group is encouraging dairy farmers to do instead of wasting the milk is to use it for calves and heifers on the farm.

“We want this milk dump to be different than others in the past, we want the farms participating to allow neighbors to come on the property to monitor where the milk goes,” Gailey said.

Gailey said the California dairy farmers are relying on contacts across the country to get anyone who milks cattle involved.

The National Family Farms Coalition was aware of the milk dump but did not know whether any farms in the eastern portion of the country would participate.

The Farm and Dairy was unable to locate anyone in Ohio or Pennsylvania involved in or aware of the milk dump

About the Author

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fosterk96. More Stories by Kristy Foster Seachrist

7 Comments

  1. Rob Gordon says:

    This is a TERRIBLE protest. People in the world are starving, that LAST thing they need to see is Americans wasting food. I strongly encourage you to reconsider this misguided effort.

    Sincerely

    Rob Gordon

    http://www.caltrade.com

  2. tom brueggen says:

    its about time farmers start doing something about the price we get paid. we are not making ends meet know, so what would 2days lose in money be compared to what the price will go up in days to come, it will more than off set what we receive now. thank lets all get involved.

  3. Tyler Thompson says:

    I feel the dairy farmers should talk to the hog producers and see if they can’t see the milk that will be dumped to the hog producers. Even getting $1 dollar per hundred weight is better then nothing.

  4. Jared Smith says:

    Sounds great to get Dairy farmers to work together and do something to help themselves. We all need to be pressuring our co-ops and food companies to stop importing MPCs and other milk products to the US.

  5. greg taylor says:

    Rob try reading the whole article it said they are encouraging the milk be fed back to calves and heifers on the farm. so in reality it isn’t a waste it will be a feed substitute.

  6. Mike Eby says:

    It’s about time we as dairy farmers realize that the milk we produce is ours. It is up to our discretion on what we do with it. Dump it, sell it, or give it away? For so long we had let the co-ops and the milk dealers assume that our milk was “finders keepers”. I am a 7th generation 60 cow Registered Holsein farmer in Pennsylvania. I realize what ever I do will have little impact on the milk price. However, I would dump my milk until you and I have proven our point. We farmers are nice, But we are not as laid back as we look. So don’t take us forgranted!!!

  7. SJS says:

    It’s nice to know all those dairy cows suffered and died for nothing. Why don’t you try feeding some of that milk to the calves since it’s rightfully THEIR milk. Maybe these farmers can find another way of make a living instead of from the misery and death of innocent, sentient animals. Try raising crops.

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