A lot of good things are happening in the dairy industry. Here are four things that could make life even better this year (and in the years to come).
1. A long-awaited rebound in consumption.
Per-capita milk sales fell in 2004 for the 15th straight year — a discouraging note indeed. But new initiatives announced by Dairy Management Inc., the organization that manages the national dairy checkoff, could go a long way in reversing the trend.
2. Producers reach a consensus at conclaves.
Several years ago, in preparation for the 2002 Farm Bill, the National Milk Producers Federation organized five dairy producer conclaves to gain input and map legislative priorities. Enough agreement came out of those meetings that the dairy industry was able to approach Capitol Hill in a unified manner. That was impressive to lawmakers, and the dairy industry got pretty much what it wanted. Now, another round of conclaves is planned for three cities in late January and early February — in preparation for the 2007 Farm Bill discussions. If attendees come with an open mind and the goal of working together, we should be able to find that powerful, unified voice again.
3. We get definitive research on air emissions.
A few years ago, researchers in
4. Exports continue to grow.
Those attending the recent National Milk Producers Federation/Dairy Management Inc. annual meeting were thrilled at the prospects for increased dairy exports in the years to come. As