In the last few years, we have been witness to some hard times for the dairy industry. Programs meant to protect them in the 2013 Farm Bill just weren’t enough. Dairy farms have been closing at a terrible rate for the past months and years. However, some producers are seeing some light coming at the end of this tunnel.
Audio: Full Interview with Dairy Producer Brody Stapel with Edge Dairy Cooperative
Brody Stapel is a dairy producer and a member of Edge Dairy Cooperative. He is fairly new to the industry and has already seen good times and bad. However, he is optimistic things are starting to turn around.
Stapel says the American dairy producer is very good at what they do. That is why he says we have supplied ourselves into this market. Stapel is encouraged by some trade agreements which he would like to see finalized. Dairy needs to get strong export markets.
The biggest hurdle he sees for domestic dairy, right now, are the “alternative beverages” calling themselves “milk”. Stapel says they need to be labeled differently because it is not milk.
Stapel says that Edge Dairy Cooperative brings farmers to Washington, D.C. to tell their story, and he believes it is being heard. Now, they must keep up the momentum.
There has been a concern that the family dairy is a thing of the past. Stapel says he believes there is a place for producers of all sizes.
Stapel tells the dairy producers they need to hang on just a little bit longer, it is going to turn around.