Thursday, April 22, 2010

External Costs

(click on Image to enlarge)

As someone from USDA recently pointed out to me, there are 3000 dairy operations which provide half the milk for the country.

As everyone knows there is a price for everything. There are, however, external costs to many things. External costs are born by others than the main people in the deal. Processors just love dealing with big farms and big farms think they have a God-given-right to expand.

The price to be paid by all, especially dairy farmers is seen in the above column from the Binghamton (NY) Press and Sun Bulletin

Ignorance of everything to do with producing milk has increased with fewer and fewer farms. This is probably not something which will go away with a few farm tours.

Mark Twain once told a story in which the punch line was "Its like milking a dry cow." think about the fact that most, if not everyone, in the audience understood what a dry cow was. A column, such as the one above, would not have seen the light of day.

The problem of ignorance is a direct external costs of expansion.


  1. I saw this cartoon John. Wanted to do a rant about it... but sometimes it seems so futile. You identify one of the reasons why...

  2. Wrote my weekly farm column for our local paper about the cartoon. Phone rang all week with area farmers wanting something said about it.

  3. Its ignorance and an agenda-its not about size- we need to quit throwing stones at each other and take care of ourselves!! This is the US and there is room for all of us if we are given a fair market- not taken care of at the crooked CME!!