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Industry News

Read coverage of current events and news affecting dairy producers and the industry.

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Editor’s note: California dairy producer Randy Mouw gave the following statement to the House of Representative’s Agriculture Committee regarding the labor needs of agriculture in the U.S. Mouw testified on behalf of Western United Dairymen, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF).

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Editor’s note: Jim Tillison submitted the following response after Progressive Dairyman invited him to respond to an open letter from Gary Genske printed in the magazine in September (see Issue 9, page 17).

Both the producer-led CWT committee and the staff of CWT have been charged with the responsibility of utilizing, as effectively as possible, the investment made by dairy farmers across America who produce nearly 70 percent of America’s milk. Both groups take this responsibility very seriously, and this “effectiveness” mandate is the main reason why CWT has always been a multi-faceted program.

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Growers and producers have had to deal with an ever-increasing amount of regulations. The Social Security No-Match letter has the potential of becoming one of the most devastating challenges American agriculture has faced in decades. If this regulation is truly enforced, and if provisions for immigrant labor are not streamlined or established, farm operators will be scrambling for labor. The words “labor shortage” will take on a whole new meaning.

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Editor’s note: The following is a follow-up article to last issue’s discussion about career opportunities for students interested in studying the dairy industry. The author has made his best attempt to update the average incomes for various dairy careers to reflect current market conditions.

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Editor’s note: The author sent the following letter on July 27, 2007, to Cooperatives Working Together’s (CWT) CEO Jim Tillison. As of August 21, the author had not received a reply from Tillison.

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While agricultural employment in many Idaho counties has fallen in recent years, seven south-central Idaho counties are reaping the benefits of a vibrant dairy industry that has brought jobs and money to their economies. A study conducted by Boise State University looked at the economic impact of the dairy industry in Idaho, in particular the seven south-central counties of Cassia, Elmore, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls counties, where the majority of dairy employment occurs. In fact, from 1997-2005, these seven south-central Idaho counties represented 27.0 percent of the total agricultural employment in Idaho; however, they were responsible for 48.2 percent of the growth in the state’s total agricultural employment.

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