SALEM, Ohio — A New Mexico dairy farmer is asking for help across the country in organizing a national milk dump.
Deborah Stark, of Clovis, N.M., said the last year in the dairy industry has started her on a mission and now she needs some help.
In a statement released to media and dairy farmers, she said is that action is necessary and the action is a nationwide milk dump. She contends that it has been a success in Belgium and other European countries and now it is necessary for U.S. dairy farmers to do it.
The national milk dump day is set for Feb. 7.
“This is a perfect time of year when demand is high and supply is low,” Stark said.
Spreading the word
Stark said she has gotten calls from dairymen in New York and Pennsylvania. She is hoping the word spreads and farmers band together so they can all stay in business.
“Everyone is hurting across the board and there is no reason for it,” Stark told Farm and Dairy.
The dairywoman added it’s the same story across the United States and that the only part that changes is the state’s name.
She said some farmers who have been in the business all of their lives lost more in one year than many ever thought possible.
“There are many who lost 30 years of equity in one year,” Stark added.
“This country needs to ask what is going to happen if a farmer can’t make a good living, what is going to happen. We’ll have to import all of our food from other countries,” Stark said.
Stark is worried that if dairy farmers continue to be complacent or feel like giving up, they will, and the industry will suffer even more.
“If they don’t become involved, they may as well curl up in a fetal position and let themselves become sitting ducks, because they are being plucked off one by one,” Stark said.
Stark said she is also trying to make consumers aware of who is actually making money from the milk produced. She said although the price of milk and other dairy products are increasing at the grocery store, it does not mean that dairy farmers are reaping the benefits.
“The consumer must be made aware that the high prices he pays for dairy products does not mean high profits for the actual producers of milk, but high profits for a few large corporate players, such as Dean Foods,” Stark said.
She hopes the countrywide milk dump Feb. 7 will draw attention to the dairy industry crisis and will generate some interest in finding ways to save dairy farms.
To get the details about the milk dump, contact Debbie Stark at 909-632-6577 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.