These fuckers want to raise cows, milk them, and deliver the milk!

These bastards want to be an all-in-one dairy.

How dare they succeed?


If Harry Caray were here today.

Certainly seems reprehensible.

But while reading the article, I couldn’t help thinking that something was being spun…

Maybe it’s just me.

No, I suspect it’s probably accurate. The Dairy Industry is well-known for nearly a century of byzantine regulation on the Federal level.

QtM, Cheesehead and close kin to dairy farmers.

Come visit us! Smell our dairy air!

My neighbor’s brother used to own a dairy farm about 15 miles from here.

The stories she tells about the isanity of distribution and paperwork…this linked story does not surprise me a bit.

Her brother now leases the land to another farmer, and the brother went to work in town.

The story doesn’t go into enough detail to really tell if it’s being spun or not. One would have to see what the referenced “proposed new regulations” are as well.

If you want a Wild Ass (but somewhat informed)Guess, here it is:

There has been a milk price support system in place for decades, which pays dairy farmers when milk prices fall too far below the break even point.

As with all government programs, if you want to get the program benefits, you’ve got to comply with program regulations. One part of the dairy program has always been accurate and verifiable record keeping, which is easy if the dairy’s milk is being marketed through a distributor. Not so easy or verifiable if the dairy is selling its own milk.

My WAG is that this company’s record keeping is not good enough to satisfy the new program’s requirements, so they won’t qualify for support payments.

“Being forced out of business” probably means that they can’t operate the way they are diong now and still get a government check. And yes, in many cases, the government check is the difference between operating a dairy and going under, financially.

Disclaimer: I have not read the new regulations that are referenced, and have no intention of doing so. (boring at best) The story itself doesn’t mention support payments.
I do know enough about the system that cutting off support payments to a dairy would, indeed, equate to “shutting them down” in most instances.

That story reads very Randian…

Over the time period 1995 through 2003, Smith Bros. dairy received a total of $116, 546 in government payments. Cite

Maybe Smith Bros. failure to comply with the proposed new program regulations would force them to lose this payment source. Or not. ?

A separate article on the topic.

The Smith Brothers Dairy’s own view of the matter.

And then there are these dissenting voices (not directly tied to the issue under discussion, but making a somewhat different point about Smith Brothers, neighborliness, and “big” or “little” corporations):
Smith Brothers Issued Complaint: EPA Proposes $11,000 Penalty For Waste Flows At Kent Dairy (1999)
Lawsuit Filed Against Smith Brothers (Banner shows today’s date, but story is from June, 2004)

When considering an ox fight…

Support payments? That’s kind of…well…dumb, isn’t it? Dairy is regulated out the wazoo up here, too, but it’s done by means of tight controls on production, not money for nothing. You need a quota to produce milk, and quotas are worth as much as dairy herds - which may seem a tad ridiculous, but dairy is the one ag sector that’s not chronically in crisis, nor do dairy prices at the grocery store seem onerous, so it seems to be working out okay.

John Carter, do you really think an average yearly income on subsidies of less than $15K would be worth their time to get all up-in-arms about? I hardly think it would be.


I don’t know. I did say my thoughts were a WAG. Remember, those payments aren’t level across years. In years of good milk prices, their payment would be very little or nothing. In years of low milk prices, a payment of 30k or so might make a big difference.

According to the links tomndeb posted, receiving support payments probably isn’t the big issue here. They, and other independent producers, will be required to pay into a pool that they’ve previously been exempt from paying into.

This doesn’t surprise me too much, after seeing what has happened to Saskatchewan wheat farmers with their fights with the government board that is supposed to sell their wheat for them, and the government legislation that makes farmers who sell their own wheat criminals. Gorsnak, you’re still in SK - am I getting that right, or has the Wheat Board smartened up any?

Smith Brother’s Dairy. Why not just go into the cough drop market?


The Wheat Board is a whole 'nother issue. The guys who make lots of noise about it are perfectly happy to take Board prices when those are higher than they could get shipping direct to the States. The Board is a marketing monopoly, and according to basic principles of economic principles should result in higher wheat prices than would otherwise exist. There is no reason to think that this isn’t in fact the case. However, it also results in wheat prices in Canada not fluctuating much, and since the prices in the US do fluctuate, they occasionally peak higher than Canadian prices, at which time these guys think they should be able to forget about the cooperative marketing strategy that benefits them the rest of the time. Removing the Board would result in lower average wheat prices for nearly all farmers, and much increased profits for large grain handling companies, such as Cargill, ADM, or Con Agra. That’s why if you poll wheat farmers, you’ll find most of them actually support the Board, and that’s why the ag lobby in the US continually pushes for countervailing duties on Canadian wheat on the grounds that the CWB constitutes an unfair subsidy - they have their eye on that marketing turf, and want the Canadian govt to give up with the neverending appeals to NAFTA and scuttle the Board.

However, I believe that it’s perfectly legal to sell wheat privately. It’s only export that has to go through the Board. So anyone who wanted to grow wheat, mill it, bake it into bread, and market directly to the local populace would be hunky dory so far as the CWB was concerned.

I don’t agree with P.J O’Rourke on many issues, but I think he was right when he said the only sensible thing to do with America’s agricultural policy was take it out behind the barn and kill it with an axe.