Government’s Role in the Dairy Industry

Last week, I attended the Utah Dairy convention in Layton. One of the presentations was by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) explaining their “Foundation for the Future” dairy proposal. This proposal is being sent to congress as an option for replacing the current dairy policy. It does away with the support price for cheese and the MILC program, and replaces them with a supply management system and a Margin insurance program. While I agree that the current system is not good and should be done away with, I am not sure why we would want to continue to have government involvement in the dairy market. Ronald Reagan once said “government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem”. If we really want to improve the dairy industry and our ability to be profitable we need to move towards less government involvement and allow the free market to work its magic. This is a scaring thought for many dairymen, the Federal government has determined the price of milk for several decades, and it is the only way we know. However, that doesn’t mean it is the best way.

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