Keeping Up with Consumers

May 29, 2012 08:40 PM


DanSiemersDan Siemers

Newton, Wisc.

Dairying with 2,700 cows, Siemers Holsteins has been operating at the same site for more than 120 years. 


*Extended comments highlighted in blue.

It’s an interesting world with regard to consumer demand and trying to keep producing what the world wants. Who saw the huge foreign demand building for our dairy proteins or domestically for the Greek yogurt craze?

It’s in these types of markets that our traditional "make allowances" run into trouble. We need a system that rewards processors for producing what is needed rather than what is easiest, so that we can continue to serve an ever-shifting global landscape.

It’s a great time to be a dairy producer, as people all over the world want to eat better and as incomes increase in developing countries. The first thing that usually happens is that diets improve, usually led by an increase in animal protein.

Domestically, we constantly hear how fluid milk demand is slowing, but I don’t think our advertising is to blame for this. It just seems like the consumer is speaking, and he/she would rather eat cheese or yogurt.

I personally feel that our 15¢/cwt. contribution toward marketing is money well spent. I am also happy to see that the Cooperatives Working Together program is back to help export more product, and I encourage those of you not contributing to please do so!

One area that we as an industry need to do a better job with is the "milk is milk" issue. It seems like stories about people becoming sick after consuming "raw" milk are all over the news. I would like to see the research that says this product is better for a person than pasteurized milk! The same goes for organic, BST-free, etc. It just seems like if someone says something is better or more wholesome, research is something the "establishment" uses to hide or discredit these unfounded "truths."

Remember, every time consumers see a story on people sickened by raw milk, or look at the high price of organic and decide they can’t afford any type of milk, or look at BST products as inferior because they fear they are full of unnatural hormones, it is bad for all milk consumption. We can overcome these and other problems, however, because our industry produces healthy, nutritious products that the world needs and desires.

Siemers' Most Recent Prices  
Milk (3.72% bf, 3.2% prt) $18.27/cwt.
Cull cows $62-$87/cwt.
Springing heifers $1,300-$1,800/head
Alfalfa hay (milk cow) $250/ton
Cottonseed $333/ton
Ground corn $232/ton
Soybean meal 48% $386/ton


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