The Dairy Alliance Awakens Hope for Dairy Farm Families in the Southeast
Wednesday, March 14th, 2018
The Dairy Alliance's Global Dairy Summit convened state agriculture officials, industry stakeholders and thought leaders from across the Southeast to rally around a plan to reverse the dire economic circumstances facing the 2,000 local, family-owned farms in the Southeast.
For local dairy farm families, the future looks grim. Since 2010, the U.S. has lost nearly a quarter of its dairy farms nationwide, and the situation is even worse in the Southeast, with a 33% loss. This decline threatens the economic prospects of the 38,000 individuals employed by the dairy industry in the region, as well. And it's unfortunate for the public, because drinking fresh milk is a source of nourishment, enjoyment and supports the family farms of the southeast.
"The Global Dairy Summit is the stake-in-the ground for changing the trajectory of the dairy industry in the Southeast," said Doug Ackerman, CEO, The Dairy Alliance. "It's a chance for us to unite the industry around common goals. We need to act aggressively and decisively if the dairy industry is going to survive in the Southeast."
Today at the Summit, U.S. Dairy Export Council CEO and President Tom Vilsack introduced USDEC's "Next 5% Plan" that features common sense, proactive measures to reverse the economic tide for dairy farmers by 2025.
"For dairy farm families to have the chance to pass their farms onto their kids, the shift to a global marketplace focus holds the key," said Vilsack. "The "Next 5% Plan" will advance the dairy industry in the Southeast, providing a viable dairy industry in the Southeast for years to come."
A Promising Future: Next Steps with the "Next 5% Plan"
Unite the U.S. dairy industry and improve coordination with USDEC and its members to grow exports from 15% à 20% for the benefit of all industry members.
Combat domestic challenges such as U.S. milk surplus and low milk prices impacting the bottom lines of hard-working dairy farm families.
Strengthen existing and recruit new international markets by expanding and evolving U.S. dairy capabilities to meet global demand expectations.
Educate the American public about the importance of dairy exports to their lives, to the U.S. economy and to the nearly 100,000 jobs created by dairy exports.