Monday, July 27, 2009

USDA Fails to Exercise Oversight

Yesterday, I covered some of the egregious failings to dairy farmers in the Southeast. There is more:

What is the Southern Marketing Agency (SMA)?

SMA is a marketing-agency-in common, the primary purpose of which is to seek efficiencies in supplying the fluid milk needs of the southeastern United States. SMA began operations on April 1, 2002, as a Kentucky agricultural cooperative organized under provisions of the Capper Volstead Act. Current members are: Arkansas Dairy Cooperative Association (Damascus, Ark.); Dairy Farmers of America Inc. (Kansas City, Mo.); Dairymen's Marketing Cooperative Inc. (Mountain Grove, Mo.); Lone Star Milk Producers Inc. (Windthorst, Texas); and Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association Inc. (Reston, Va.).

Initial goals:

1. Promote member cooperation and communication;

2. Seek cost savings in the purchase of supplemental milk;

3. Preserve over-order prices in the Southeast;

4. Seek cost savings in farm-to-market hauling;

5. Seek cost savings in seasonal surplus balancing.

FMMO 7’s “mailbox” price for April 2009, the latest month available, was $13.08. FMMO’s Uniform price for April 2009 was $13.14.

My understanding of how the Southern Marketing Agency works is to skim the cream from dairy farm milk checks.

As a marketing agency in common, USDA has oversight. USDA has failed farmers in the Southeast and that should be easy for anyone to observe.

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