Local and regional organizations are teaming up with Farm Aid for a rally at the Manchester Livestock Exchange today to raise awareness about problems in the dairy industry. Delaware County farmer Dave Knipper says they hope to raise awareness about the falling milk prices and increasing costs.
Knipper says the price had dropped below 10 dollars per hundred weight for milk, while the price of corn is back up and the price of hay is up to 22-50 for a ton. He says dairy farmers can’t afford those high costs and the dairy farmers want to let U.S. Ag Secretary Vilsack and President Obama and the public know what is happening.
Knipper says farmers can’t borrow enough money to keep going. He says borrowing is not answer to keeping dairy farmers viable. He says you can’t borrow money and continue to lose money each month. Knipper is a representative for a company called Prairie State/Select Sires, in which he covers twenty-some counties in Iowa working with dairy and beef farmers.
Knipper says they are also hoping Saturday to collect signatures for their petition urging the ag secretary to set fair prices for dairy farmers. Knipper says there will be a signup sheet to send a petition to the ag secretary and information on who to call.
Knipper says this issue goes beyond dairy farmers. Knipper says the dairy farmers buy feed and equipment in the community. He says if we lose 35 to 40% of our dairy farmers then it will impact corn and bean prices, and he says we won’t be able to ensure the quality of milk if it has to be imported.
The rally will run from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Manchester Livestock Exchange in Manchester.