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Your Letters: Dairy farmers go broke while foreign-owned processors get rich

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Few people who read this will remember that the dairy processors enjoy a "make allowance." This is basically a built-in margin between what they pay the farmer for milk and what they receive for the finished product. This make allowance was not just handed to them; they worked and lobbied for it in the federal order reform. The rate was set at about the time energy prices were at their highest. I am not aware of another industry that has a profit margin supported by the USDA.

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In the past couple of years, foreign owners have purchased several dairy processing plants. This means that the United States government guarantees a profit to foreign-owned companies at the same time the farmers (most of whom are U.S. citizens) are losing money in supplying that plant with milk. Do you think that is the kind of government our forefathers wanted for us? The people who signed the Declaration of Independence pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, to give us a government to promote the general welfare, i.e. justice for the common people. Our current USDA permits foreign profit while its own citizens go broke. This is the kind of government that led to our Declaration of Independence.

Fast forward four score and seven years. Guaranteed profit for foreign companies while citizens go broke is probably not what Abe Lincoln meant when he spoke of a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Almost 100 years later, President John Kennedy said in his inaugural speech, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." I do not believe he meant a government that placed more value on foreign companies than its own citizens.

Since 2009, many dairy farms (some in business for several generations) have lost one-third of their equity, it will take many years to build this back, while the plant that processes their milk has a guaranteed profit even it that plant is foreign-owned. If that doesn't make you mad, you should have someone check your pulse.

Apparently the government doesn't care how many dairy farmers we have, or even if we have dairy farmers. Just as long as we have plants to process milk (if we have any).

Why are we looking to the government for help, when the Capper-Volstead Act allows us to band together to help ourselves?

People, it is obvious we have raised far too much milk, and far too little hell.

Mark Rohr

Bluffton

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