Summer is coming to a close. Most of us are looking forward to cooler temperatures and hopefully some rain. Uncertainty of both feed quality and quantity seem to be widespread. Milk prices look good, but will they hold? Uncertainty and volatility seem to have become the norm rather than the exception over the past few years. What needs to happen? Is there something that can be done so that we might avoid another 2009? I think everyone can agree that we do need change within the industry. The problem is agreeing on what kind of change. We have had suggestions and ideas that range from the complete deregulation of the industry to the government controlling every aspect of it. There seems to be one plan at the forefront, National Milk Producers Foundationís Foundation for the Future or FFTF. At the time of this article, National Milk has draft legislation that has bipartisan co-sponsors.
I am sure most of you have read about FFTF. National Milk as well as many other coops and individuals have put a tremendous amount of time and effort into trying to develop a plan that will benefit our industry and provide some stability for the future. As with any plan that is trying to appeal to an extremely large group of people, every individual can find a fault or concern that raises a red flag for them. I myself can find concerns with FFTF from my own personal perspective. However, having said that, I think there are two important questions that we need to ask ourselves. First off, is this going to facilitate a better environment for our industry long term? Secondly, can we live with or make workable the concerns or faults that we have with the program?
I encourage you, if you have not already, to become informed on the FFTF plan. An explanation of the plan is available at www.futurefordairy.com. If you have any questions, please call the office or any of the board members for answers. If we donít have the answers, we can surely get them for you or direct you to someone who can.
I look forward to serving as your new President for DPNM. I realize I have big shoes to fill, but you can trust that I am up to the challenge.