Sunday, January 24, 2010

Outrage at the death of a NY dairy farmer

I have sent the following fax, along with a copy of the above article, to all members of Congress, President Obama, Governor Culver and Secretary Vilsack in hopes that the NY dairy farmer did not die in vain.  God bless him, his family and his dairy herd.

Windmill Farm Dairy

Todd & Janice Grimes

21409 138th Street

Webster, IA  52355-9079

Home:  319-738-2075

Janice’s Cell:  641-660-7020



I am faxing you a tragic story about a dairy farmer in New York.  How many more farmers will take their lives? How many more farmers will go bankrupt?

I am sick and appalled that MY government is allowing the American dairy farmers to suffer to this point of desperation.  How can the government value banks and car companies, but let its own food producers drown into bankruptcy or death?  I am highly disappointed in the attitude of my elected officials and expect more from you.  It is the government’s responsibility to change this situation, since it is the government who sets the monthly federal price for milk. 

I know there is a dairy caucus and a dairy committee to look at the situation and I know that the government handed out 250 million dollars to help the farmers.  However, that payment did not even begin to help towards digging ourselves out of the hole that we are in.   Secretary Vilsack has the legal authority to set the price of milk to the cost of production per U.S. Code TITLE 7 Chapter 26 SUBCHAPTER III 608c 18 (18). I know he is aware of this as Farm Aid, on June 18, 2009, delivered 13,000 petitions signed by dairy farmers asking him to do so. The National Family Farm Coalition sent a letter to him on March 2, 2009 requesting the same thing. Why isn’t he being held accountable to his job?  He could save the American dairy farms if he would  set the price of milk to production until the government committees and dairy caucus have the time to fix the pricing situation and the Department of Justice can assess and prosecute those companies who are violating the anti-trust laws.  

Not only are we getting shafted by the low price of milk, but now the US wants to open up trade with New Zealand, the number one dairy exporter.  This is a slap in our face.  The USDA has the nerve to create the “Know your farmer – know your food” initiative and then encourage and support the importation of milk and MPCs from other countries.  It is impossible to know your food if it comes from another country and it will soon be impossible to know your farmer as they go bankrupt – one by one.  The initiative sounds good for the USDA but is really  just a scam to make the American people feel more comfortable about their food supply. 

Winter will be over soon and it will be time for the dairy farmer to plant his crops to feed his cows. The banks are backing off of lending money and it is becoming increasingly difficult to get an operator’s loan. 

The dairy farmer gets up early every morning, day after day, no matter the weather or the circumstances and milks his cows.  There is no vacation or holiday from milking.  Perhaps as you eat and drink your dairy products you should consider the work that went into just obtaining the milk from the cow. 

As an elected official, I suggest you take a long hard look at what is really going on in rural America and think about that poor man shooting 51 cows in the head and then taking his own life.  It’s an ugly picture isn’t it?  If you agree with that statement, then do something about it before it happens again.

Janice Grimes

1 comment:

  1. Janice, this is a GREAT letter you have sent to Congress. You are one voice, but a powerful voice and dairy farmers around the country should pay tribute to you, but more than that, they need to follow your lead as well. Actually, ALL farmers in this country should take note of what is happening in this country to the dairy farms, because, who's next? What spector of the ag industry will take the next big hit? I don't want my food imported from other countries, PERIOD. I don't want government setting the prices for the dairy farmers. Who in government has ever milked a cow anyway? I'm totally sick of our government. WE the people need to take back our country, these people work for us, the tax payer. However, they seem to have forgotten this because they apparently work for the "palm greasers".