Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Save C V ?

(click on image to enlarge)

A recent article by Marc Heller:

"Sen. Charles E. Schumer has called on the Justice Department to leave intact the protections that dairy farmers' bargaining cooperatives enjoy from antitrust laws."

(more at link)

All of this was precipitated by a remark Assistant AG Christine Varney made in Vermont regarding the Capper Volstead Act. Most all the cooperatives are very, very worried. While dairy cooperatives have formed joint ventures and partnerships, the very crux of Capper Volstead has been forgotten.

The Act specifically states antitrust exemption shall apply "Provided, however, That such associations are operated for the mutual benefit of the members."

If you look at the above graph, you will see that New York dairy farmers, which is dominated by Dairy Farmers of America (DFA)and subsets DMS and Dairylea have received less in their milk checks than have dairy farmers in Wisconsin.

Keep in mind, NY has a nearly 50% class I (the highest price) utilization, while Wisconsin, which has something like a 12% class I utilization. NY's milk checks, by all logic, should be higher than Wisconsin's.

The reason is DFA's monopoly grip and side deals with processors.

Of course, Senator Schumer's position could hardly be influenced by DFA's PAC donation to the Senator.


  1. Is there a way to find out just how much that donation has been in dollar amount to the Senator each year?

  2. He was the biggest proponent of the Wall Street bailout and surprisingly the banking and insurance industries are his biggest contributors. This guy is all about money.

  3. "Mutual benefit of the members" That should'nt take much thought.

  4. John you make an excellent point; we need competition even amongst co-ops. I wonder if your graph would be as telling for the other states.

  5. You can find out quite a bit on donations at:

    It will take a bit to catch on but, the effort is worthwhile.