BlogsMonroe’s Emiie at the 2008 Monroe County Fair.
No, she’s not the disgusting part … sheesh …
Monroe Public charges 50 cents for a carton of milk. So I’m sending in $2.50 a week for milk per child. $7.50 for milk a week. Not a math whiz but I think…
1/2 pint for fifty cents
.5 pint = $.50
2 cartons = 1 pint = $1
8 pints in a gallon = $8 a gallon
That just seems excessive. I can buy a gallon for $2 at the store. I realize there is packaging involved, but $6 of packaging?
I consider Emiie to be a friend, and we’ve shared lots of good laughs. A lot at my expense of course … But the price of milk is a serious issue in my opinion.
Here’s the thing: The facts point to $8/gallon being reasonable. Unfortunately, the dairy farmers are being treated unfairly.
I kid you not.
Interestingly enough, today the Associated Press is covering milk prices in Michigan, specifically how much trouble dairy farmers are having financially with there being such a milk glut:
According to the National Milk Producers Federation, prices that dairy farmers get for 100 pounds of milk fell from $20.58 last November to $13.29 in August. Prices are projected to be $14.18 this month. [Ira Krupp, a dairy expert with Michigan State University Extension] said he expected prices to remain down for several more months.
Looking at this a little more closely, I’m reminded of a sign that used to hang in the former Bill Knapp’s restaurant in Adrian, Michigan. It listed how much various items cost in 1975. Google the following words:
Look at the results. Gas was 57 cents a gallon. Pretty cheap. Eggs were 77 cents a dozen. They’re only about twice that now.
But then there’s milk.
“Contains: Milk” Really? There’s milk in there?? I had no idea…
34 years ago in 1975, milk was $1.57/gallon.
Last week at both Aldi and Costco, I paid $1.89/gallon.
Mary and I both bought milk at school in 1975 at 15 cents a half-pint. Using Emiie’s math, that came out to $2.40 for a gallon of milk when milk was $1.57/gallon.
Yes, seriously. That’s what we paid.
Check out the PDF that’s linked from this page on the IDEALS web site. A summary:
Illinois Agricultural Statistics from 1970 show dairy farmers receiving between $5.30 and $5.85 per CWT (hundredweight, or 100 pounds of milk). In 1974, this was up to between $7.10 and $8.90 per CWT.
And to reiterate, today the Associated Press is reporting, “$13.29 in August … ” and “… Prices are projected to be $14.18 this month”.
A difference of less than six friggin’ dollars in 35 years to the dairy farmer for the same 100 pounds of milk.
Do you know what’s worse? This is. That’s right, in July 2009 the various classes of milk were only getting between $9.97 and $12.06 per CWT here in Michigan.
A difference of only 1 – 3 measley friggin’ dollars between 1974 and now.
Yup. Disgusting. That’s what it is.
Meanwhile, the price that farmer pays for fuel has multiplied five times over. The price of a tractor is quite a hefty sum. The electricity needed to run a dairy farm today compared to 1975 is shocking, being $3.51/kwh in 1975 and $10.40/kwh in 2006. And the natural gas used to heat the barns was $1.71 per thousand cubic feet then and $13.76 now. (Source: US Census)
Dairy farmers should be seeing similar increases in what they get for a 100 pounds of milk, roughly $35 – $40 instead of the $14 the AP is reporting.
No wonder so many dairy farmers just can’t make it.
See Emiie, here’s the thing: Milk should be $7.50 – $8/gallon today. That it’s $1.89 in some places is appalling to begin with.
But what you pointed out is disgusting; That some organizations are charging exactly that $8 …
… and the dairy farmers see none of it.
That’s what pisses me off.
The next time you think about what you’re paying for milk, do the farmers a favor and buy as close as you can to where they start the chain of production. Here in Monroe County, Michigan, that means Calder’s. They milk their own cows, process the milk on-site, and even offer home delivery.
Meaning they see the best possible prices. Prices which help them survive.
And that’s important.
Oh, and Emiie? You still owe me a real Elephant Ear contest. Yes you do. Quit arguing. Sheesh …