The Dairy industry has, unfortunately, been the poster child for the struggles of the American agriculture industry. They had suffered years of lower prices and challenging marketplaces. Family dairy operations have been closing at an alarming rate. For those still holding on, it was a struggle against time. Fortunately, time has a way of bringing things around. The Dairy industry saw some recovery in milk prices during 2019 and is now entering 2020 with some things to feel good about.
Tom Vilsack was Agriculture Secretary during the Obama Administration and the 40th Governor of Iowa. Now, he is the President & CEO of the U.S. Dairy and Export Council. Vilsack says that higher prices are just the beginning of giving America’s dairy farmers a little “breathing room.”
Vilsack says 2019 ended with a strength that makes him very optimistic going into 2020. Also, Vilsack sites the U.S. deal with Japan, and the forthcoming United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement as very positive steps for the U.S. dairy industry.
While we may not see dairy exports directly boosted by increased Ag purchases from China, Vilsack sees the Phase One deal as another way to open the door for more dairy business.
Global instability still has the power to shake the bedrock on which the dairy industry is building the foundation for its recovery. This instability can directly or indirectly affect our market activity. Vilsack says we need to make sure our business is strong in many markets.
Vilsack is looking forward to a better year in 2020, and he looks forward to seeing dairy producers reap the benefits as things start to turn around.