April 24, 2017 – UPDATE: Many organizations have been working tirelessly to provide solutions to those who have lost their milk processor. Over the last couple weeks there has been a lot of dialogue but unfortunately not all producers have been able to source a new processor. As a follow up to my last communication, I wanted to share some updates and points that are important to those farms impacted as well as what each one of us can do:
- It’s the last week for notified producers to find a new processor for their product.
- Mullins Cheese has stepped up to take on 8 new accounts.
- Grassland has taken back a few accounts that had forward contracts with them.
- There is positivity that more producers will find a home for their milk this week with DFA or cheesemakers.
- The unfortunate reality is that many producers may not have a solution by May 1st, 2017.
- Talk to your suppliers and look for ways to become more cost effective without losing sight of profitability and the “right fit” for your operation.
- If you have lost your milk market and have not yet called the Wisconsin Farm Center or your status has changed, call 1-800-942-2474. This will help the efforts to find solutions.
- In the event that your farm is not picked up by a processor, be sure to contact your lender and landlords to collaborate on a plan. Communication and a strong financial plan will be important in the coming week.
Everyone can help:
- It will be important to continue the dialogue with your representatives to help shape long term solutions including trade.
- Continue to have conversations to inform others and keep this situation in the media.
- In the meantime please consume as many dairy products as you possibly can.
This is an unprecedented and difficult time for our industry. Know that we are here to support our members and will continue to work towards solutions with our producers.
Executive Vice President, Animal Nutrition
April 8, 2017
After learning that a number of dairy producers, including members of Landmark Services Cooperative, were no longer having their milk supply accepted by Grassland, we are working to learn more on how this will affect our members, as well as, what assistance we can provide our members as this situation unfolds through the dairy market.
Since the announcement, Bob Carlson (chief executive officer) and I have been in contact with Laurie Fischer of the American Dairy Coalition (ADC) and the Dairy Business Association (DBA). We will not likely be able to provide any “solutions” at this time, but we are hoping to provide a centralized source for what is happening and where our members might be able to get much needed information and assistance.
At issue is a U.S-Canada trade dispute over what’s called “ultra-filtered milk,” a protein liquid concentrate used to make cheese. Until recently, it had entered Canada duty-free from the United States according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Your cooperative is working to help provide solutions and I want to share a message from our partner PDPW. This message speaks to the heart of the dairy industry. It gives light to the supportive community surrounding you.
“During these difficult times it is critically important to stay focused on what you can control. While we all work together on behalf of farm families, we remind our farmers to remain steadfast at taking care of their own health, their families and taking care of their cows. And, know that they are not alone – continue to communicate with their leaders… The Wisconsin dairy industry is one of strength and resilience. We will get through this challenge like we have all the others before – together. Remain strong, milk the cows and take care of your neighbors and families.”
We encourage our members affected by the announcement to contact the Farm Center at DATCP at 800-942-2474 to ensure you are part of an ongoing dialogue. The Farm Center is working diligently to find possible processors and truckers to alleviate your situation. In addition, contact your local representative (find yours here) to make sure they understand the importance of this situation. If you have been affected by the milk supply contract cancellation, please inform us so that we can include you on any updates as we monitor this situation.
Executive Vice President, Animal Nutrition