Monday, January 07, 2019

Dairy Farming: Like a Cow is Drying Up?

I read an article by a dairy farmer on the Washington Post website about the plight and struggles of small family dairy farms.  The struggles of small farms that force them to shut down.  There are number of reasons they are shutting down including not being able to afford to continue operating.

I give much credit and respect to those small family farms that are making a go wherever in Canada or the United States they are.  Without diary farming, including the small farms, there wouldn't be the milk to produce various other items.  Same goes for the small family grain farms.

The United States needs to do something to help the little guy.  They need do something to make people want to get into farming.  For a meager average Joe wanting to choose farming as a career choice, it is not cheap to start and keep going.  If small farms keep shutting in these numbers, all we'll be left with is the mega dairy farms. They need to treat it more than corporation. I do give credit to those that don't.  I give them credit for operating with the ideology and philosophy as the small ones.  That is if they do operate that way.

Donald Trump, by the sounds of it, hasn't done much to support and help the farmers.  That needs to change.  You can't just focus on other areas.  There is a real need to help the farmers.  A need to help, what some would call, the backbone and heart of America.

Farming is one of the oldest professions.  It goes back 12,000 to 13,000 years and originated in Ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Israel, Palestine, southeastern Turkey, and western Iran).  Is the need for dairy farming becoming less and less as we are becoming more dependent on the large scale dairy farming operations?  Throughout history, we've depended on farmers for providing certain items like milk and crops to produce other items.  We can't lose the small family run dairy farms because we can't rely solely on the big dairy farms.

Where I grew up, south of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan; there were a number of dairy farms.  Now I don't even know if there are any still operating.  My dad and Grandpa got out of dairy farming in the 90s when my dad went to work for the government.  Slowly but surely, the small farms are shutting down.

My dad loved going to see a big dairy farm in Arizona on one of his yearly trips there.  He, after all, was a dairy farmer.  So of course, it was only natural he loved it.

I may not have been too interested in becoming a farmer as I grew up (although at one time I wanted to be a farmer when I was very young).  But this article does hit close to home.  The small farms shutting down for whatever reason is all too real.  It is a sad reality as we need more than just the big dairy farms.  I don't know what can be done, but something has to done.  Something has got to give.  I do give those credit for making a go of it no matter how hard it is.