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“Share the Pain” campaign because of COVID-19

To: Board of Directors, Dairy Farmers of America

From: Gary Genske, Shawnee Dairy, LLC, producer/member

I have received several items of correspondence from DFA recently discussing the imbalance between milk production and milk consumption as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (and nothing regarding the trade imbalance) and for the immediate need for 10% production reduction. If we producers are to cut production by 10% in addition to accepting the current/future low milk prices for the milk we produce, and to help our co-op survive through this pandemic, I suggest two things:

  1. If we producers are forced to continue receiving milk prices that are far below our cost of production for less milk produced, co-op and co-op affiliates’ management should also share in this pain and accept a 30% cut in wages and benefits. No one in our industry (producers) should solely have to bear the brunt of these trying times.
  2. Since all businesses, including tax exempt organizations have become qualified for the forgivable SBA Payroll Protection Loans (in the millions), all trade associations with whom DFA supports, should reimburse membership dues to DFA. Receipt of SBA forgivable loans made to NMPF, IDFA, DMI, DEC, and all of the many other trade groups are not to become unjustly enriched because of these loans. This is free money to these groups! Additionally, for DFA’s continuing support of these groups, the management of these groups should also accept a 30% pay cut, and share the pain we producers feel.

Please insist that these two suggestions are implemented immediately. Thank you.

Gary Genske
NDPO Board Member
Shawnee Dairy, LLC
Dexter, New Mexico
May 6, 2020