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|Ron Gibson |
West Weber, Utah
When my wife and I go to the grocery store, my favorite thing to do is to go to the meat and dairy aisle to see the next crazy thing they are putting on the label: free-range turkey, antibiotic-free, all-natural, rBST-free, organic, grass-fed beef and 100% hormone-free!
It sometimes makes me wonder who the consumer is and how we tell them the real story. After this great recession, we all might look at food and the necessities of life with a different view. I think people today are doing everything they can to make their dollars stretch as far as possible. The manager of the dairy case at our local grocery store says organic milk sales are very soft now.
Although I believe there will always be a place for niche markets, we need to stand together and support our product. Milk is milk! We have done so much harm in the past by making the public believe that my milk is better than yours because you use rBST and I don't…my cows live on pasture and yours don't…we drive John Deere tractors and you don't…we sing to our cows and you don't…
As producers, we know better. How can we expect the media and consumers to understand when we are telling them lies?
People trust farmers. That is the truth. The California Milk Advisory Board is on track with getting the message out that the milk that shows up in your grocery store comes from farm families that care about their animals and you. The rest of the nation needs to follow suit. Our checkoff money needs to be used to positively portray the truth about dairy farm families all over this nation.
One thing is for sure in our industry: We will have challenges. Let's just work together to help solve our problems without hurting other dairymen.
When you think of the consumer, think of the neighbors you go to church with, or who you sit by at the school program when you go to watch your kids, or who sell you your tires. Do we talk to the people we know? Do they know how we feel and why we do what we do? How long has it been since we invited the community over for a cookout? Do we offer tours for our local elementary school so the children can actually see where their milk comes from?
The Internet can be great, but there sure is a lot of negative junk on it about what we do. We can make a difference by reaching out to others wherever we are and telling our story—the one we want them to hear: the truth. That is how we win.
Gibson's April Prices Milk (3.78 bf, 3.22% prt): $14.15cwt. Cull cows: $59/cwt. Springing heifers: $1,450/head Hay: $120/ton Cottonseed: $294/ton Soy Best: $382/ton Rolled Corn: $192/ton