On Tuesday, the California Department of Food and Agriculture disappointed many of the state’s dairy farmers by extending rather than significantly increasing current milk pricing relief. We’ll check in on what that decision — and the upcoming vote on the Farm Bill — mean for struggling dairy farmers and cheese processors alike.

Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture
Michael Marsh, CEO of Western United Dairymen
Rachel Kaldor, executive director of the Dairy Institute of California, which represents dairy processors of cheese, ice cream, etc.
Tom Barcellos, owner of Barcellos Farms and the T-Bar Dairy

  • vince guaglianone

    How many of these farmers asking for more government subsidy are voting Republican? How much profit does the top 5 California milk producers make? How much of that profit is subsidy? Most of these farmers are in Republican strongholds.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    WHEY is valuable as the main ingredient in protein powder. Please explain how whey is still considered a waste product when protein supplements have a huge markup

  • notatwit

    yah, it’s too bad this is all about money as opposed to the inherent torture of cows raised in this industry – almost the saddest life ever for an animal. factory farms suck and I”ll be thrilled to see ’em all leave.

  • 1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8

    Fresh milk, cream, and butter on the one hand — and “aged milk” or cheese on the other; are at the very least two distinctly different product categories. They are often unknowingly and inappropriately lumped together as if there were no big difference. But some important voices have said that cheese is a “decayed” form of milk that is very unhealthy.

    In view of this controversy, artificially tying these two very different product types together with a single price control is a dangerous form of hidden subsidy for the cheese industry. Cheese should compete in the free market properly independent from fresh milk products.

    A subsidy that ties these product types together erodes marketplace freedom. Science and public education must be allowed to guide healthy choices over the long run — not the paid influence of lobbyists.

  • Adult humans do not need cow’s milk any more than they need goat’s milk, wolf’s milk, camel’s milk, giraffe’s milk. Unweaned infants do remarkably better on their own mother’s breast milk which is what our species was intended to consume. There’s absolutely nothing beneficial to the human diet in cow’s milk that can’t be gotten through plant based sources.

    Female cows are forcibly artificially inseminated to become pregnant and continue lactating. After 9 months, the dairy industry steals these baby calves shortly after they are born. The “worthless” males who can’t make milk are either killed immediately or kept in isolation for a few months to become veal. The unfortunate females calves follow their mother’s sad lot all the way to the last moments on the kill floor when they are no longer “productive”.

    Thankfully there’s abundant plant based alternatives that are just as nutritional, just as satisfying and just as versatile in cooking. Some even have twice the amount of calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk does.

    Dairy is also destructive to the environment and a tragic waste of resources. Perhaps it is time for “unweaned” adults to look beyond what deceptiveness and hype the dairy industry is pitching at you in order to keep their profits and their cruel practices in check.

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