Springtime is upon us and most of us are still praying for rain. Our operations are hard at work continuing the daily grind to provide a wholesome quality product for the nation and the world. While we do that, we wait to see what our fate is with two key issues in Washington, DC. The Farm Bill and Immigration reform have become two important issues to legislators but for different reasons than ours.
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to go to Washington, DC, and speak along with Beverly, Kaye, Dr. Hagevoort, and legal counsel to congressmen and women as well as USDA representatives concerning the dairy industry. A few things became very clear while I was there. As well intended as our delegation seem, many of them do not understand the impact or the dairy industry itself. They are looking at our part of the Farm Bill not to see if it is equitable or if it makes financial sense, but rather what saves the most money on paper. Immigration reform is not about securing a legal labor force for the United States or providing security for the undocumented workers that are here allowing them to provide for their families without looking over their shoulders in fear. The big fight is over how long it is going to be before they can become citizens. In both instances, I think they have missed the bigger picture.
Throughout our meetings, I tried to really stress a couple of things that are important and make me proud to be a dairy farmer from New Mexico. First, we are family farms. Our children attend the local schools and we are involved in the community. Second, and perhaps most important we are the largest as far as herd size in the United States. Even though we are large, we are still the most efficient producers in the country. Perhaps big government could take a few lessons from us.
Hope to see all of you next month in Ruidoso.