Save A Dairy Farm One Glass At A Time

Save A Dairy Farm One Glass At A Time

Drink a glass of milk each day, to keep the auction barn at bay
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No farmers, no food.

Honestly, it really is that simple. Without farmers to plant the seeds, harvest the crops, feed the cattle, or milk the cows, the world would be in heap of hurt. Think about it, without the farmers who love the work they do from dawn until dusk for three hundred and sixty-five days a year, where would your food come from? The grocery store? That's completely wrong. The answer is simple, from the farm that is either family owned and operated (like the one I have had the privilege to grow up on) or a large corporate farm.

But, with the current state of the dairy industry, family owned and operated farms are becoming a thing of the past. This problem is effecting all small, family farmers whether they specialize in grain, dairy, poultry, or beef to name a few. However, most recently, small, family owned dairy farms have taken the hardest hit. Things have reached a new low and don't show signs of looking up any time soon.

In 2016, the dairy industry plummeted. A dairy farmer is paid a set amount based on how many one hundred pounds of milk they produce. For example, on average, throughout all of 2016, so far, farmers were paid approximately $12 for every one hundred pounds of milk the herd produced. (One hundred pounds is equivalent to 12.5 gallons of milk). However, since the beginning of 2016 the price of milk has continued to decline at a steady rate that shows no sign of stopping any time soon.

To really understand the severity of the situation, small, family-owned dairy farms, it is important to know that the $12 farmers are being paid for every one hundred pounds of milk produced is at an all-time record low! Furthermore, this price is barely enough money for the farmers to break even let alone make a profit.

Here's the economics of the current milk price:

1. Farmers are paid approximately $12 per 100 lbs. (This can vary slightly based on the milk company the farmer is supplying).

2. 100 lbs. of milk is close to 12.5 gallons

3. So, if paid $12 for 12.5 gallons that means each gallon is worth $0.96. (That is what the farmer is paid per gallon).

4. In the grocery store, one gallon of milk costs around $3.97.

5. From the base price a farmer is paid in comparison to the price in the grocery store there is a difference of $3.01! The farmers are not the ones who make this money, this extra profit goes to the milk company and the grocery stores. Is it really fair that the people who have no part of the production of the milk should make more than half of profit?

Now, some people will say that this isn't a huge deal, but it is. See, when the price of milk is compared to what it was in 2014, the seriousness of the situation may finally be understood.

In 2014, the price per hundred pounds of milk was around $22, and the price is the store was no where near $4 a gallon. And so, within two years time, the price of milk declined by almost 50%, and has had disastrous effects on the dairy industry.

Due to the low price of milk, many farmers have been forced to sell their family farm that they have owned for generations. Farmers can't afford to purchase the seeds, feed their cattle, or pay the milk companies to come pick up the milk. To make a bad situation even worse, the majority of U.S. farmers are over sixty years old. These hard-working men have worked in the dairy industry milking cows for their entire life. This is the only life that they have ever known. It is "udder" heartbreak, that these men who have sacrificed so much have no option but to sell their farm that has been in their family for generations. In fact, many of the farmers, whether they are young or old, who have had to sell out, feel as though they have nothing else to live for and resort to suicide as their only option.

If that isn't enough reason to make people stop and think about the current state of the dairy industry, then maybe this statistic will. In the United States in 2012, there were approximately 2.1 million farms. That number continually decreases as each year passes. Actually, every day, four farmers will sell out and leave the dairy industry. Or, because the farmers are all in their mid-to-late sixties, with no one in the younger generation there to take over the farms, small, family owned farms are going by the wayside. If this trend continues, not only will the agriculture industry cease to exist, the way people have always known it to but consumers will also feel the pinch and begin to cry over spilled milk.

It's time to really start appreciating where the food we eat comes from and the people who work tirelessly to produce it. But, most importantly, it is time to realize that the dairy industry is in trouble, farmers are in trouble, and they need the help of the public to fix the economic downturn that the dairy market has taken. Because even if you don't want to admit it, without farmers there would be no food. And, I don't know about you but I don't want to live in a world where I can't enjoy a cheeseburger, side of fries, and a chocolate milkshake.

Cover Image Credit: Webneel

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Being Sick In College Is A Real Struggle

Being sick in college is definitely not as fun as having a sick day in middle school or high school.

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Something that I have had to deal with multiple times these past two semesters is being sick while in school. It can be a real pain especially depending on what type of sickness it is. I have had tonsillitis, mono, and I'm pretty sure I also had the flu.

Being at school and away from home can make being sick worse because there is nobody to take of you such as your parents. Another thing is having to make the decision to get the rest that your body needs in order to feel better or staying on top of your assignments to avoid falling behind. My parents will always tell me to get a good night's sleep so my body can feel better the next day. However, sometimes I will feel more stress if my work isn't getting done and I feel like I'm falling behind and leaving things to get done in the last minute.

Currently, I am sick now and the past few days haven't been easy, but I still attended all my classes so I wouldn't miss any material or assignments that were given. I usually end up feeling the worst at night when trying to fall asleep, and by that time the doctors are not present at the student health center. Even though my health is important I usually don't like taking too much time out of my day to go to the health center to see a doctor. Some days I don't really have much free time before the evening.

I don't believe I have been over-exerting myself, but I don't want to just stay in my bed all day and sleep, even though that may be what is best for me. Most professors will be understanding if I email them and provide them a doctor's note as well, but I also just got back from a conference where I had to miss two days of classes next week.

I have been trying to keep hydrated so that way my body can fight the sickness. Also, I have been told if you stay hydrated you can flush the virus out of your body quicker.

Eating can also be a pain when you have a sore throat, for the past couple of days I have tried to have some soup in order to help. Most meals I would have to force myself to eat something of substance in order to give my body some type of energy in order to get through the day. It's also never fun not being able to breathe out of your nostrils. If it wasn't my nose being stuffed, then it would be constantly runny so there was no winning that battle.

Looking back, I probably should have done a bit more work over spring break in order to get ahead in the case that something like this would happen. I wanted my break to be exactly that, a break. After not being home for a few months I just wanted some time off to relax.

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