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Tax law changes have been numerous in 2010, so it seems appropriate that the year closed out with one more. On December 17, 2010,

President Obama signed into law the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 that includes the highly anticipated extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.

There was much debate on whether the favorable individual income tax rates should be extended for everyone, or for everyone except the “rich.” Ultimately the rates in effect in recent years (10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent, and 35 percent) will stay in effect for two years for all individual taxpayers.

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This past year has certainly been one many dairy producers would just as easily like to forget. After a brutal year in 2009, profit margins remained negative through most of last year with depressed milk prices and high feed costs crippling operations.

Increased debt loads and lost equity have been the themes as many dairymen are simply trying to weather the storm and survive this current cycle.

After the past couple of years, one has to wonder if things can get much worse than they have been, as well as when or if the cycle may finally be turning for the better.

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During the month of January, Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) accepted 19 requests for export assistance from Darigold, Foremost Farms, Dairy Farmers of America, and Land O’Lakes for a sales total of 2,019 metric tons (4.451 million pounds) of Cheddar, Gouda, and Monterey Jack cheese to customers in North Africa, the Middle East, Central America, and Asia. The product will be delivered January 2011 through May 2011.

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Wendy Rahn
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Hoof products coordinator
Animart, Inc.

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Nick Uglow
Lake Mills, Wisconsin
Dairy Specialist
Vita Plus

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