“We should be culling dairy cows’ not dairy farmers,” Bob Krucker, dairy producer, said. He milks over 1,300 cows in Jerome, Idaho and is a board member of the National Dairy Producers Organization.
Why did you decide to join the NDPO?
Krucker: It became clear to me that the dairy farmer, the person that’s actually milking cows and making the milk, needed someone to represent their interest and to benefit them. There are several dairy industry organizations, coops that attempt to benefit the dairy farmer but they haven’t succeeded too well. Since we’ve gone from about 600,000 dairy farmers down to around 45,000, our numbers are in continual decline.
What needs to be done?
Krucker: I think we’re at a time where we need a little dairy farmer free market cooperation instead of competition. I’d like to start with the big picture and kind of work my way down to the dairy farmer. This country needs to preserve its ability to feed itself and not rely on imported food. To do this, we need to preserve our national milk producing infrastructure.
How does a dairy producer balance this supply of milk with profitable demand?
Krucker: Every dairy farmer has a bottom 20% to his dairy herd. If this bottom 20% would be culled heavily, not only will the milk supply be brought into balance with profitable demand but the quality of the milk will be greatly improved. NDPO says let’s balance the milk supply with profitable demand by culling dairy cow’s not dairy farmers. The second thing dairy farmers can do is to effectively increase profitable demand for US made milk by promoting NDPO’s 100% USA milk trademark.
Would you encourage your fellow dairy producers to take a look at the National Dairy Producers Organization?
Krucker: That’s our purpose, it’s to collect as many members as we can who understand that we do have to comply with basic economic principles here. Otherwise, the loss in number is going to continue. Maybe we’re going to end up with only 5,000 dairy farmers in this country, maybe we’re going to only end up with 50,000 cow corporate dairy enterprises in this country. NDPO does not think that’s the right way to go.