Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Real Names

There is an ancient saying, "The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their real names."


The article quotes Ed Gallagher, Dairy Farmers of America's vice president of economics and risk management.

"We've got to do better yet," he said. "The market doesn't care what anybody's cost of production is. The long-run average price will just about equal long-run costs."
Margins keep tightening, and they're likely to tighten further.

Gallagher has the ability to know when butter has fallen $0.515 since the first of the month who did the dirty deed. DFA knows how easy it is to manipulate the CME - they got caught. DFA has not participated in the cash market since January 2009. CFTC has a person assigned to watch DFA at the CME. But, has DFA repented from their ways of leading farmers to think there is a real market?


  1. I am a member of DFA, which is supposed to be a member-owned co-op, with that being said, I have a few questions for Rick Smith, CEO, and the board of directors:
    If there is a Vice President of Risk Managment, there must be a President? How much are we, the member-owners paying in salary to these people? And how have they put more money in the pockets of the member-owners?

  2. I too, would love a breakdown of various officers/executives "total" compensation packages including all the so called "side" ventures that money is funneled from DFA into, in order to circumvent the bylaws of the supposed member owned co-op.

  3. Just because DFA is not allowed to participate in the cash market for a few years, doesn't mean that they are not paying someone else to do so.

  4. I also have a suggestion. How about board members actually being able to see contracts between the raw milk buyers and the coops. This is the most important part of the coop board members role in the coop but the board member is totally in the dark. In order for board members to know that the employees are fighting for the best possible contract they have to see this information. There are no checks and balances. This is the status quo the milk check scalpers enjoy.

  5. I would like to see the contracts between the milk haulers and DFA. Why has it that hauling has gone from $1.06 to $1.11 per CWT and other coops have the farmer negotiate with the hauler and they pay anywhere from .75 to .85 cents per CWT? What does it really cost to ship milk?

    The extra fuel surcharge is a huge rip off and scam to the farmers too. When asked, DFA reps say the surcharge will not go away until the price of fuel drops back to $1.25 per gallon. How likely is that? Also, we were not charged a fuel surcharge when fuel was $1.26 or $1.79 or even over $2.00, the surcharge happened when fuel was in the $3.00/4.00 range, so why does fuel have to go back to $1.25 for the surcharge to go away?
    Just another way to steal extra dollars from the farmer.

  6. I work for a small coop and these things astound me. Our board has access to EVERY piece of paper or contract in our possesion. THEY direct the cooperative because it belongs to them. If they want a hauling price all they have to do is call, contracts between the coop and processors are all board member's business and ratified by them BEFORE submission. What is even harder for me to believe is we have had many farmers leave us for DFA just on the promise of having a plant to deliver to. WE have better contracts than they do and deal with some plants that would never contract to DFA so what's the attraction? We even show them articles from John and Pete but to no avail. Their focus is on bigger is better, but we also have had a few come crawling back and tell us the horror stories and show us their not so hilarious statements from DFA. Get a clue folks, the grass is not greener and the transparency you deserve does not exist over there.

  7. There is no transparency and you do not dare ask any questions of DFA.

    Another strange item on the statement is the volume adjustment correction, which makes the pay price seem .20 cents higher than it really is. What is the reasoning behind giving you money only to take it away in the deductions, unless it benefits them in some illegal way?

  8. During an MPR debate Collin Peterson could have denied that his campaign has taken embezzled money, but Peterson would not.

    Peterson has been living in Washington DC to long.

    I asked Collin Peterson to return campaign donations received from the embezzlers and the PACs they controlled.

    To date Collin Peterson has refused to return the more than $100,000.

    The following is an article written about this issue. Peterson has had two years to return this money.

    Campaign Contributions Become Protection and Hush Money

    Minnesota elections and United States lawmaking appear to have been unduly influenced by the influx of embezzled money. An embezzlement of over $1 million came to light 2008. The embezzlement was discovered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in an 3 year on going audit of the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a co-op of dairy farmers with 17,000 members. At that time DFA-CEO Rick Smith sent a letter to DFA members stating that embezzlement had been found and law enforcement would be getting involved.

    To date (2010) there has not been a law enforcement investigation into the embezzlement. Additionally, in the last two years there has been no public disclosure of information about the embezzlement. Yet, there exists a connection between the 2008 embezzlement disclosure and political contributions.

    Congressman Peterson misled the media and voters only a week before the 2008 election. Peterson told his opponent Glen Menze at a radio forum held in Park Rapids that Rick Smith, the current CEO of DFA, and Peterson were in constant communication and there was no need for a Congressional hearing into the embezzlement.

    Two men; Gary Hanman CEO and Herman Burbaker a board member of the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) accused of embezzlement contributed to: Collin Peterson, Democratic Chair of the United States House of Representatives Agriculture Committee, John Boehner Republican Minority Leader of the United States House Representatives, the Democratic National Committee (DNCC) and National Republican Committee (RNCC), as well as many other special interest PAC's,making sure to spread the embezzled money around.

    In 2008 Congressman Peterson told the Fargo Forum that Hanman was his hunting partner and friend. He indicated that all the activities they engaged in together were legal at the time and the embezzlement was an internal matter discovered by an internal audit.

    Additionally; allegations that Gary Hanman and Herman Burbaker were also price fixing commodities on the Chicago Board and Trade, a board that is overseen by Congressman Peterson Chair of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, showed that the embezzlers were involved in other illegal activity as well.

    The connection between Collin Peterson and Gary Hanman (one of the men connected to the embezzlement) is close and personal. Gary Hanman was Collin Peterson's hunting and partying buddy and close friend. They had spent many hours together on the Kansas prairie hunting pheasants. Peterson has acted as a shield keeping Hanman from being investigated.

    The contributions from the embezzlers to Congressman Collin Peterson and Jon Boehner have not been returned to the Dairy Farmer co-op (DFA) or the 17,000 dairy farmer members. Rumors continue to circulate among dairy farmers; that the money was also used to pay for good times for politicians and high placed friends of the embezzlers that included walking around money.

    The embezzled money has become hush money and the political contributions have given protection from investigation and prosecution of the embezzlers. We should hope that this does not stand; the dairy farmers from whom the money was embezzled, Americans who believe in clean government should demand a full and impartial investigation and the media should keep the public informed.

    By Pam Rosen