Big Ag Boosting Factory Dairies Amidst Milk Glut

South Dakota Public Broadcasting acts as state government’s propaganda wing by promoting Ag United’s dairy tours, in which Big Ag tells South Dakotans that organic milk is just marketing:

[Baltic dairy operator Lynn] Boadwine says one of the most common beliefs he finds among visitors is the perception that organic dairy products are better quality and healthier.

“I’m not going to change a consumer’s mind, but I know a lot about this business and the one thing that always alarms me is there’s a lot of moms that come through and think that they’re not getting a good product if they’re not buying something that’s organic or something that’s high cost. And I think that’s kind of sad because I know the industry, and a lot of it’s just marketing,” Boadwine says [Erin Mairose, “Boadwine Farm Hosts ‘Know Your Milk’ Tour,” SDPB Radio, 2015.07.05].

Boadwine and other milk factory owners can sign up for federal price insurance: for $100 a year, we let them escape the vagaries of the free market. Sign up now, milkers: milk production is so high that dairies around the continent are pouring hundreds of thousands of gallons of good milk into the ground. “The world needs less milk,” says a Chicago dairy brokerage boss, yet South Dakota state government pursues doubling the size of our dairy herd as economic development, even as its policies have led to the collapse of small dairies and dominance of far fewer Big Ag players. Even our Dairy Princesses know they have to seek degrees is other fields, because they know dairy farming is not a reliable path to economic security.

8 Responses to Big Ag Boosting Factory Dairies Amidst Milk Glut

  1. Paul Seamans

    Won’t these big dairies be able to dump their excess milk into the Big Sioux along with their excess manure?

  2. Roger Elgersma

    Farmers historically do not look to close at the supply. They just know that if they produce more their own balance sheet looks better. Sure there are those who are looking at the board of trade and checking the economics, but when half do not and just expand, then the market drops for them all. HIstorically they needed a severe kick from real bad prices to cut back. This roller coaster ride takes a lot of endurance and a very stable person which farmers are. But we do need to quit promoting something that does not need promotion.

  3. Steve Dick

    Cory – The tour to the Boadwine Dairy was called “Know Your Milk.” It was an opportunity for Sioux Falls area families to meet a local dairy farmer, learn about the farm and the practices of the farm. We would welcome you to join us sometime on one of our farm tours.

  4. mike from iowa

    Korporate ag can weather tough times/low prices far easier than smaller family farms. Korporate vultures just need patience and all things come to them in the end.(just like rill vultures)

  5. I’d love to join one of these tours, Steve, but I don’t know if I’ll make it down to Salem or Garretson for the two coming up. Any plans for similar tours in northeast SD?

  6. Roger E, it’s one thing for individual producers to focus on their own operations instead of trying to read the entire market. It’s another, as you say, for the state to promote and subsidize economic activity that is already chugging along at full strength.

  7. Steve Dick

    Cory – Nothing planned form this summer in the NE part of the state, but are hoping to do one next summer. We will keep you updated.

  8. Please do, Steve! I need to keep a closer eye on Big Ag.