How we keep our milk local

Dear Editor,

I’ve been a dairy farmer in the Bowden area for 19 years. I farm here with my husband and three children.

I’d like to express some of my thoughts about the debate on supply management as it’s important in our agricultural community.

Supply management is how we keep our milk local. It simply means that we don’t heavily export milk, so your glass of milk is from local farms like mine.

That perishable milk will not be cheaper if we don’t have supply management. In fact, according to A.C. Neilson, milk is cheaper in Canada than the BST free milk in the USA.

BST is completely illegal in my cows.

Under NAFTA, Americans want access to our market because they have a serious milk oversupply problem.

However, the State of Wisconsin produces more milk than all of Canada, so it wouldn’t take long before they would just fill up Canada too.

I have a quota to produce milk, so this oversupply and waste doesn’t happen in Canada.

We’re also self-sufficient so we don’t get a dime in subsidies from the government (unlike every single other dairy market in the world).

On top of this we allow the USA to export to us 10 per cent tariff-free compared to three per cent export from us to the USA.

I support agriculture commodities that rely on exporting. It’s possible to defend the interests of all different types of farmers that exist in our community.

Supply management for perishable products is something we should all be patriotic about and will affect our community if we get bullied in NAFTA.

 

Miranda Verhoef

Bowden, Ab.

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