USDA Secretary Perdue made comments at the World Dairy Expo this week that have inflamed family-scale dairy producers across the country:
Source: USDA, Flickr
“…[B]ig get bigger and small go out. … It’s very difficult on economies of scale with the capital needs and all the environmental regulations and everything else today to survive milking 40, 50, 60 or even 100 cows, and that’s what we’ve seen.”
Small dairies and other family-scale farms support rural areas with food and local investment. They are a critical part of the fabric of the rural United States.
Many small dairy farmers transitioned to organic production in order to survive the economies of scale that have overtaken conventional dairy markets. Organic producers and consumers have asked for stricter regulation for both environmental and human health, setting organic agriculture apart from conventional.
Instead of giving support to the organic market, Perdue seems determined to subvert it on behalf of industrial organic interests. Read Full Article »