But despite the depression that hits a dairyman when he looks at his farm's banking account these days, there are a few things to be positive about. One is that the public still holds us in high esteem, and people want to know that the money they spend on dairy products is finding its way to the farm.
Our farm is a member of the farmer-owned, milk marketing cooperative Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), and our membership in its predecessor co-ops goes back as far as I can remember. One of the big advantages to being a part of DFA is our ability to offer a wide variety of value-added products.
Take, for example, the Borden Cheese brand. Our co-op owns and processes Borden Cheese, which means everytime someone buys a package the proceeds come back to us instead of a big food corporation. The more often people buy Borden products, the more it helps cushion the blow for some 18,000 dairy farm farmilies across our country.
I've been fortunate over the past couple of weeks to speak with two of our county's three newspapers about the dairy industry and why our cooperative membership is so beneficial to our farm. One of those articles appears online at The West Alabama Gazette (the print edition included additional information about Borden). I expect to speak to at least two more newspapers and possibly even a television station or two within the next few days about these topics. With the dairy economy being such as it is, I'm very appreciative of the media giving me and other dairy farmers the opportunity to share about ways the consuming public can help us get out of this rut we're in.
If you would like to drink milk from our farm's cows, look for the processing plant code "0104-" stamped on the jug. There's a chance it might contain some of the milk produced by our cows. But if you want to help us out in another way, perhaps an even better way, buy dairy product brands that are 100% farmer owned. When you leave the grocery store, make sure you're taking Elsie home with you. Eat more cheese...Borden Cheese!