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From the Farm

Setting the milk record straight

November 20, 2009
By Kerry Hoffman

My sister was giving me a hard time the other day.

I guess the price of milk is sky-high in the grocery store. To be honest, I have absolutely no idea how much a gallon of milk costs in the store. I haven't purchased a gallon of milk for I don't know how long.

My sister ribs me in jest, but I believe the price of milk really does get her goat. Or should I say cow?

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

Anyway, her comments have set me to thinking, and that could be a dangerous thing. I figured that if she thinks that way, so do plenty of other people and maybe I need to set the record straight.

First off, dairy farmers do not set the price of milk. If I could, I would. Supply and demand determine the price of milk. Differing prices can be attributed to a merchandiser's predetermined mark- up.

I personally would like to see the price consumers pay for milk follow the price we receive on the farm. It seems to me that when the price we receive for our milk increases, the price paid in the grocery store will increase. OK then, how come when the price I receive drops, the price paid in the grocery story never decreases?

Oh, I have heard many excuses, including the cost of gas, the cost of corn, marketing costs, blah, blah and blah. But that doesn't explain why the price in the store stays high, when the price I receive for my milk decreases. Shouldn't that price mimic the price received on the farm?

I'm not a marketer, and maybe I am looking at this all wrong. I don't know.

Did you know that for every dollar spent on dairy products the dairy farmer receives less than 30 cents? I remember when a pack of gum cost 30 cents. Heck, I remember when a pack of Bubble Yum bubble gum cost 25 cents.

Speaking of the price of milk - I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Don't pay more for a gallon of milk that's specially labeled as BST-free. It's the same milk that is in the gallon container not labeled in such a way.

Speaking of BST - did you hear what a reporter on the Christian Broadcast Network had to say? I was forwarded information by the dairy association that made me chuckle but at the same time made me somewhat angry.

At the end of the segment, host Pat Robertson shares his opinion that the hormones in milk cause the early onset of puberty in girls and recommends that kids be given soy beverage to avoid the "harmful effects" of dairy.

It makes me angry that someone who has no idea what he's talking about puts this on the air. I need to remind myself that this is the same man who says, "Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife." He is also the one who called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Loo, loo, loo, loo.

The comment regarding early puberty also makes me chuckle because if BST causes growth in breasts, wouldn't I have big bajombas? And there would be no need for breast implants. Women could just go in for a shot of BST.

Think of the savings!

For questions or comments, e-mail me at



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