Milk Prices

Corey Brown

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Milk prices fluctuate more than most people could ever believe. One day they are at $22.85 and the next check,t it goes down to $20.00, and then after the first drop, they drop another dollar or two. Farming is a very expensive gamble. We spend more money on farming than people make in ten years. When you have a company that makes $1.5 million a year, $1.35 million of that goes right back into the farm. That other $150,000 goes into the owner of the farm’s pockets. I feel as if milk prices should stand at one level for at least a couple of months at a time, then possibly change.  

Farming is the biggest gamble someone could ever take. You never know if there is going to be a market for the milk that just went into the bulk tank or if you’re going to have to pour it down the drain. And it is such a bad day when you have to pour the milk that you just made down the drain. Farming is a very stressful, and sometimes a depressing job: you take many chances that most people are too scared to take, but the strongest people grow up to be farmers. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

People seem to think that because we have to occasionally use antibiotics, that we milk them when the antibiotics are in their system. If the dry cows get mixed into the milk cows, and the dry cows get milked, the milk goes down the drain. Because when the cows get dried off, they have antibiotics in them. If we ever have to give the milk cows antibiotics, they go into the sick pen until the antibiotics clear up out of them. And in the time being, they get milked into a bucket milker and that milk gets poured down the drain until it clears up. If there is any sign of antibiotics in the milk that we ship, they pour it down the drain and we have to pay the milk plant a fine for shipping bad milk.

People just don’t understand what farmers have to go through every single day. I have even seen some people say that farmers shouldn’t be complaining and stuff like that because they only work six months out of the year. If you were smart, you’d know that farmers work every single day rain or snow, and I have never heard a farmer complaining about work. If it was too rough then they would’ve quit by now, but hardly any farmer sells out, unless it has to do with, of course, milk prices. Sooner or later, everything comes back to the price of milk. People need milk but aren’t buying a lot of it because they say it is too expensive. Out of that $3.50 you spend on the gallon of milk, that farmer that produced the milk makes about $.50-$1.00. This is not good because the bottling company is making that other $2.50-$3.00, and it only costs them around $.50 for the plastic containers they bottle it in. They are taking way too much of the profit, and they all wonder why the farmers are hurting, because they are taking the money that we could be making!

Most people only think that farmers only work 6 months of the ear which is crazy because cows can’t only be fed for 6 months and last the other 6 months without being fed. Cows have to be fed every single day if we want to make money, and cows are our money makers, but in order for them to make money for us, we have to take care of them. Taking care of cows isn’t easy: you have to feed them and give them whatever they need. When the vet has to come to check on a cow, it isn’t cheap. So we take care of the cows and the cows take care of us. It’s a good process, but you’d have to live it everyday to understand.

When people make up articles that they think are all true, it hurts the farmers. If they continue to make false articles, everyone will then stop drinking diary and they will switch to almond milk, if it’s even milk. People who have never laid a foot in a farm/parlor has no idea what the everyday struggle is. And when those people post stuff on social media like “Farmers kill cows to produce milk” and articles like that. The newest article on Facebook claims that the milk sent to factories and for them to get bottled up contains feces, blood, antibiotics, and more that isn’t true. Milk gets put through three different filtering systems before it leaves the bulk tank. If something was in it after the first set of filtering, it would have been caught in the second and third set of filtration systems. And even then, before we put the unit on the cow’s udder to get the milk, the teats and bags get washed down and cleaned off with a clean washcloth or paper towel. People who write this should stop by a farm for a little while and take a look around, because what they write about and think is true is absolutely wrong and they are just blowing smoke out of their butt. There isn’t a farmer in the area that would turn someone down if they wanted a tour of the farm.

The overall purpose of me writing this was to show the difficulties the farms go through: it sure is not easy. Nobody ever seems to understand what the farm life is like unless you live it everyday. But since you are only reading this and not living it, I’ll just tell you that it is very stressful. Especially if you work with your family. Too many cooks in the kitchen, as my grandma always said when we would be butting heads. But sooner or later, everyone gets over the bump and starts to get along again.