Existing programs may not save pork producers

© AgMedia Inc.

The Canadian Pork Council says Ottawa needs to do more in light of the current economic downturn


“The historic drought in the U.S. corn belt this summer resulted in a drastic change in the economic situation facing hog producers.”
Why is it that the drought is supposedly to blame for all this?
The overall US corn crop is down something like10%. Government mandated Ethanol programs remove something like 40% of the corn crop.
Why then are our representatives not asking for an Ethanol Compensation Program?
Dave Linton

Ethanol is just one more market . If you grew your own feed then what would you have to complain about ? I thought not long ago hog producers here said they could compete with any one .
Seems many hog producers want yet another gov. hand out or pork buy out program that didn't do any thing to help .

I remember many times being told by hog producers that they were buying corn for 2.50 and getting 5.50 back for it through their pigs . Then they would go on to say and if you stupid cash crop guys want to keep growing it for that I won't even try to . Even when many G&O farmers told livestock farmers that CAIS was not working and will not work for them in the future they denied it . Well the tables have turned and memories go deep . Livestock is a feed market for G&O farmers but we do not have to supply at a loss . If you have a choice between selling at a profit or not then the choice is yours . You made the decision to get in or expand . Live with it .

Proft will come back to the hog industry once they are forced to go back to loose housing and straw for bedding . When that happens how many current producers will still be producing ? Dad and Grandpa were not always wrong !!!

Wow! Take that all you hog producers...what's the saying? Sorry about your luck! Keep those government ethanol mandates in place...or it may be some other commodity group with a long memory.
I don't think I ever remember farmers being so divided...and vindictive.
Dave Linton

Dave good post. I ,like you Dave also have a son farming and involved in pork business . If I knew what is happening today to the agricultural community as a whole I would tell him to run away from ag as fast as you can. Money wise its as good a business as any ,but the hate,jealousy and backstabbing now among farmers is unbelievable . Communities are being torn apart and it will take a generation or more to repair the damage . Too much money is as bad as not enough . OFA or any other organization will never get different farm commodities to work together again for the better of society and all . Sad day for Ag and society . kg kimball

Four years ago, when finishing high school, my son told me that if I had tried to interest him in farming, he could have me convicted of child abuse. Based on the imbalances caused by supply management, but not yet caused by ethanol, he was entirely right. He then went on to study chemical engineering, and based on his last co-op job placement, expects to work for Kraft Foods as a management trainee when he graduates next spring. I told him that I'd hold the farm together until supply management and ethanol both crash and burn, but by then, he could easily be making $300,000 per year, and living in Switzerland, and instead of coming home, could hire bankrupt dairy and poultry farmers to be his farm workers. There's a time, and place, for farmers to realize that we, like lemmings, are the cause of almost all of our misfortunes - but we, as clearly demonstrated by both supply management supporters, and ethanol supporters who post on this site, are still too greedy, and far-too insulated from reality and common sense to do so. Alas!

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Chemical engineering + Kraft = poison
Farming + family = health

As always, as usual, the ones who write garbage and take cheap shots are the ones who don't sign their names. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

If there was anyone that read any of this crap going on in these letters that has any importants it would likely be of any importants to sign it.
Same old writers and no action, take it to the goverment as a protest and see in the end if there is much support for this farmers bashing.
One thing for sure there is alot of wanta be, could have, should have going on in some of this letters that its ether get the job done or get off the pot.

The retail price premium Kraft seems to be able to command on its Cracker Barrel cheese, even cheese produced from milk bought from the rip-off artists at DFO, should be enough reason to conclude Kraft is one of the most-astute food production and marketing companies anywhere. It's also interesting that Kraft seems to prefer hiring engineers rather than Aggies - go figure, who'd have thought that the best way to get a head-start with one of the world's top food companies would be to completely avoid anything, and everything, to do with agriculture, including an agricultural education? Given your attitude, who could blame my son for getting out of agriculture, or Kraft for avoiding graduates of agricultural Universities?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

We know that milk and feather business cannot survive as it is now if we where to lose S.M. Land based red meat producers with good equity can last a long time if they wish to subsidize there animal production a a bit . A well respected and educated former large beef and cash crop farmer put forward the argument that we can not survive on domestic consumption and exports can end with out notice due to factors beyond our control . His take (and he has no personal gains or losses either way) is with grains worth more for fuels than feed and our aging packing infrastructure , all our regs. we will not be a place packers want to do business in. Hope that is not the future as pork business was a place young guys could start and grow . Carol Mitchell ending single desk selling and Ontario Pork divesting itself of all marketing yards pretty much rules out any new young producers starting with a few sows. Our county had about 20 serious producers 5 years ago and now we have 6 and they have to be trucked off farm by truckers from other counties as we don't even have a yard or trucker here anymore. kg kimball

Sounds like pork producers want government hand out to keep going. Well, get another job or get into the welfare line. If people aren't eating pork tough. Find out what people are eating and grow it.

Ethanol received mega funding and a mandate and a guaranteed profit margin. I see Dave's point as when gov't mandates hurt other business or distort the market place it is hard for some sectors to compete. No pork producers want a hand out, maybe a level playing field.Do you call the 20% in gov't grants and tax breaks given to the large auto mfg. welfare? The 500,000 or 750,000 tax free capital gains on quota a subside or welfare? Pork welfare guy what business are you in? And I see you have no name either. Ron

It's time for pork producers to buy into humane, sustainable practices. Ontarians are learning about food animal welfare and just how far off the mark Ontario producers have become. They are voting with their dollars and would rather choose a product that has been raised with respect for the animal. This is the future of our food. Consumers want it, and the pressure is growing for it to be produced. If you don't start listening, the system will continue to collapse, and you will forever be stuck between a rock (government handouts) and hard place (bank loans).. and it will be your choice.

- concerned Ontario citizen and veterinarian

I know I can't change your mind but if you are a large animal vet you do know that pigs have a much better life today than 40 years ago . Housing,handling,shipping and feeds are excellent . Interesting survey at major grocery store chain in US where they asked consumers about humane pork,stall free,ect. Pretty much 95% said that is what they want so they taped same consumers at meat counter where pork raised under different systems was for sale and only 5% bought pork labeled "humane" or "stall free" . Everyone involved in animal agriculture or consume pork should read Curtiss Littlejohn's commentary on page 38 of Oct. 2012 Better pork. Especially the last paragragh. kg kimball

Peta people would like to see no animals eaten whatever , and yes there is vets. to that feels the same way. Like I said all the time they can have a million surveys and the one that is doing it can say wwhatever they like and nobody relly knows if its true or not. If it sells sell it if it doesn,t try and fix it,there is alot of meat eaters out there and they will buy it aslong as its good. People Eating Tastey Animals

Its sad to read farmers deliberately whipping up hatred for others no matter what the issues are, and I don t know why these so called media outlets let this stuff be printed its a shame and I am very tired of reading a particular set of views from two people that contstantly bash a sector of agriculture. The both of you are making and creating a division amongst hard working people that don t deserve your negativity and you should both stop your rants if you have nothing better to say...go away

Time and time again we have shown real facts, real numbers and and real issues that need to be dealt with and when ever the supply management supporters can't defend SM then you guys just want to turn and bash us as individuals when really you should be trying to prove us wrong with sound information and logic, but O you just let your emotions run wild and have the i am going to take your ball and go home attitude. I ave heard for over decade now, how you all know supply management isn't perfect but there working on it ? well who is the "they" changes only occur from individuals one by one stepping up and and demanding change, so far i have yet to see one Sm farmer stand up and say enough is enough lets correct this problem and correct it now. Supply management has less and less credibility every year and just take the Egg Farmers of Ontario, just do a Google search on them and read about all the corruptions and their leaderships active role in trying to destroy small egg graders, come on guys lets be serious SM is rotten tot he core and you all know but your the select elite few who benefit by it so why trade the goose that laid the golden egg ????

Sean McGivern

Personal comments by unidentified contributor deleted by editor

Must be bad they won,t print, have to try getting the facts even if some of the facts is smoke screen and mirrors?
The ones that do some of the facts are one sided sometimes and have blinders on so we should do so exploring ourselves to find the real stories.
The farming is in a turmoil all the time some are winners and some losers its no different than the other jobs in Canada look at all the jobs going south or is like he food manufactoring, its nice to keep as much as we can in Canada.

Wow such hatred for SM,the mechanism of supply management works for over 4,000 dairy farms in Ontario alone,what more needs to be said.Actually there is a Farm Organization looking at how Supply Management can be improved not dismantled like a supposed disgruntled farm leader suggests.
John Van Dyk

Mr. Van Dyk, not surprisingly, has the "cause/effect" equation entirely backwards. While supply management may appear to "work" for 4,000 Ontario dairy farmers, it works against every other farmer because it gives dairy and poultry farmers a completely-unfair advantage when it comes to incomes and purchasing power. Mr. Van Dyk, like all supply management supporters, refuses to accept the very-basic principle that a legislatively-created, non-level playing field always creates resentment, and always will. As I've pointed out before, the hatred of supply management's unfair advantages is real, is perfectly-understandable, and is increasing all the time, especially among younger, non-supply managed farmers. Mr. Van Dyk, like all supply management supporters, seems to believe that his position of legislated entitlement (the modern-day equivalent of being a biblical money changer in the temple) justifies his "shooting the messenger", rather than accepting the undeniable truth of the message.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Quite simply it seems that you are upset whenever a farmer has the opportunity to make money.As a supply management dairy farmer I am thankfull that our Government sees a need for supply management in this Country because It is quite simple to do the equation that if supply management did not exist there would be very few dairy farms left.

I get a real chuckle out of this comment 82% of all the dairy farms in Canada are in Ontario and there is now only about 4,000 of them and they are shinking in numbers every year, so tell me why are farmers getting out of milking cows if its all so great ? There getting out because its worth more to sell the quota then it is worth to keep it and milk the cows, the system is screwed, plain and simple

Sean McGivern

Actually there is only about 30-35% of dairy farms in Ontario ,they are pretty much located on a per capita basis across Canada.Another point PFO ALWAYS gets wrong is that all farms in all sectors are shrinking and if you did the math you would find that SM is actually shrinking the least.And on the last point for farmers like myself the Quota is worth more to keep than to sell and the mechanism of SM is one of the best things in Canadian agriculture.
John Van Dyk

Supply managed farms are shrinking and other sectors as well but it is for one reason only and that is supply management. I won't go as far to stereotype and say that every supply mangement farmer is guilty of never having enough, many are, and they are the ones driving land prices through the roof because of the unfair borrowing power given to them through quota security, thanks to FCC for starting that. Not only does supply management lock out other new farmers of any sector but it also locking out the future generation of supply management siblings(about the only ones that stand any chance of entering) who simply cannot afford to buy out their parents operations because they will not not cash flow if the siblings have to pay today's land/quota values. Not every current quota owner feels the need to "pass it on" or even take a reduction price in the value of it. Supply management boards are "shooting themselves in the foot" by not addressing that major hurdle. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

The people left in supply management are so die-hard fanatical about the greed-based absoluteness of their position, that even when the letter comes from DFO telling them it's "over", they won't believe it. You have, once again, accurately summarized what Mr. McGivern and I, (as well as countless farmers under the age of 40) have been saying for years, and will keep saying, as long as supply management exists. It's really too bad that supply managed farmers are so petulant about why they should remain the "favoured few" - this petulance, and often even outright arrogance, is exactly why supply management is not well-liked, and will not be missed. Good posting - please do more!

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I don't get upset when farmers make money - however, I do get upset when farmers make money because of legislated entitlements which they get, but which other farmers don't. That's called a double-standard, and it's disproportionately paid by the poorest group of consumers who, because you don't mention them, you obviously, and "quite simply", care nothing about. In addition, your argument about how there would be fewer dairy farms without supply management is counter-intuitive, and "quite simply" fearmongering. If anything, there would be more dairy farms because there would be fewer barriers to entry, and the under-40 generation would be finally able to get into dairying. As an example, the latest CaseIH farm magazine profiled (on pages 14 - 15) a young New York State dairy farmer who bought his farm in 1990, and who claims to be making a good living milking 35 cows - he couldn't have done that in Canada, but could have done it in Canada without supply management and quota. However, denying opportunity to everyone but those who currently hold quota, as well as caring nothing about declining demand because of high retail prices, and caring nothing about the rest of the farm community, is what supply management is all about, and that basic selfishness is "quite simply" why supply management is doomed, if not in this generation, definitely the next.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

If there is, as Mr. Van Dyk suggests, a "Farm Organization" looking at how supply management can be improved, it would almost certainly have to be the CFFO - but really, the CFFO would have little, if any, reason to exist if it didn't have supply management to defend. Why then, would anyone, especially non-supply managed farmers under the age of 40, pay any atttention to what the CFFO might say about supply management, or anything else, for that matter?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton

maybe Mr Van Dyk should talk to people back home.in holland quota is gone in 2015 and Canada quota will be gone in 10 years or less we are always behind eu.

I am 100% Canadian and proud of it.Of course my parents were from Holland and I am proud of that too and I am also proud that our Government supports Supply Management.Its comical when some try to relate that since other Countries have done away with Supply Management that Canada should also do the same,one reason why Canada is different is that Canada has the United States as a neighbor and most Canadian dairy farms would be taken advantage of by the American processor advantage.
John Van Dyk

The point is that Canada is, or soon will be, the only country in the world with any sort of a quota system for dairy products which, in our case forces our consumers to pay almost 38% more for milk than they would pay, in some cases, less than a mile away in the US. In addition, while you try to fearmonger about American processor "advantage" if supply management disappeared, you conveniently forget that the declining demand induced by supply management caused out processors to become "disadvantaged" in the first place. You can't have it both ways - you can't spend 40 years forcing our processors to operate in a market which, thanks to supply management, is in a long-term decline, and then complain that you need to keep that inefficiency because you might be taken advantage of by processors who haven't been hobbled. Do you not realize that your entire argument is based on the premise that nobody else matters but yourself?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I,m another one that stands up for sm to a point and I believed the milk board was and is making some bad judgements in the last 10 years because of greed on the big farmers part.
The sm does help the farmers from the greedy processors and give them a fair return which should be lower than what they get nowand would still be well prtected.
There,s specials in Canada on milk products in stores that puts at a good price,but they can be lowered on the regular prices, and in the end it does help the former knowing around the price they are going to get at the end of the month.
Nothing out there is perfect but some of the stuff we have in Canada is what makes Canada Canada, and why should we be like any other country in the world or should they world be just one country.
If that is the point well I JUST DON,T GET IT.

You're still trying to defend the right of less than 15,000 farmers to force over 30 million consumers to pay substantially more than they need to pay (almost 38% more for milk in Ontario), for the sole purpose of giving these 15,000 farmers an absolute advantage over every other farmer. It's bad economics because it disadvantages those consumers who not only can least afford to pay, but it also prevents them from spending that money on something else which isn't protected by 200% tariff barriers (like pork, for example), and it's bad public policy because it pits farmers against one another. I wish supply managed farmers, and the farm organizations which pander to them, would stop wrapping themselves in sanctimonious drivel like "hard-working dairy farmers" and "we're only getting our fair share", and start to see themselves the way they are seen by others, especially by younger, non-supply managed farmers - and that's greedy extortionist artists who always think only of themselves.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The big farmers you refer to have only became that way because of the rules they operate under that supply managed boards have setup. Those big farmers are just milking the system.(no pun intended) When SM was originally setup it worked for a short while but then the greedy self serving board members saw a way to make themselves multimillionaires that did not represent the values of most SM farmers of that time era. They accomplished this by 1. Allowing a value to be put on quota. 2.Only allowing current quota holders to be on the recieving end of allotments/increases. 3. Not placing a maximum on the amount of quota one farm can have(that one would have to be enforced so that there are no loopholes around it such as numbered companies, putting it in spouses or siblings names, etc.) 4. Developing a system to bring in new entrants that doesn't work. 5. Setting enforced(by tariffs) profit margins that are too high, which in turn causes financial hardship on families buying their products. If SM boards had spent the last many years operating under guidelines such as I have pointed out it would still be a monopoly, but it would not be under the earthquake size magnitude of pressure it is facing today. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, On

As far as the milk goes they helped the farmers get a fair price then it went overboard and just kept giving farmers to much for their milk. the egg farmers are very few in numbers ran by few relly big boys, does anyone really know how many? Yous keep on talking milk check the egg prices which is up near the moon.
Look at the price you pay the farm dealers for repair, parts and a machine does it not hit the roof in price. Look at the fuel, price for seed ,fert. ,spray and so on. So if they think the price of milk is high buy some of the things mention and see if they are a fair price compared to the rest of the world .

But why should SM farmers have a legislative advantage over every other farm sector to buy all inputs. Under the current system every sector in agriculture has government support programs to help out in bad years. Beef, pork and cash crop just to name a few have had years when they needed government support to survive, but have also had good years when they have needed no suppot at all. The difference is, as I have pointed out in previous posts, that SM farmers are always on the recieving end of government support. Consumers are forced to pay higher than normal prices for any SM product, because of government set prices where the "tax" is hidden in the price, which the SM farmer recieves. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

To: totally agree, since you are not putting your name on your comment this is what I will call you. In your first sentence you are referring to the "pork welfare" comment, whick I will agree is serving up hatred. The problem is that you took that comment used it against 2 other regular commenters who do not serve up hatred. Anyone who read this site knows who you are talking about and also knows that these 2 individuals serve up lots of interesting reading based on facts and they both have the credentials to back it up. Their views represent the vast majority of the farming population. To: pork welfare guy, shame on you for comments "whipping up hatred". I also cash crop farm and would like to see the government let the ethanol industry stand on its own. While it is nice to get this kind of money for corn I am one of the few who will admit it is a little too good. The only thing these media outlets need to do is force commenters like totally agree guy and pork welfare guy to put their name on their writing or not print it. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

It is ridiculous that some grain farmers who have crop insurance say that livestock producers should not have access to a government supported program.Without a doubt as long as government supports crop insurance there should be stabilty based programs for livestock producers.
John Van Dyk

Its not just sm farmers driving land prices up get those glasses off and look at the real world. Cash croppers ,speculators, other business people {like construction for pits or quarries,sub divisions and none Canadian people] And the ones that sell there multi - million home in the city and buy a piece of land in the country.It all adds up to the price raising to the price where the ordinary people just can,t afford to buy it.

I read the kids at play drama and see not one intelligent answer to stomping out the sm farmers. Most of the sm farmers may seems like a small amount of farmers but the amount that is generated is huge. They need a better way of protecting all of its farmers and letting new ones start up in whatever they would like to do. It a big problem and I haven,t read any great or that matter even good idea yet as how to solve it.
If I had a great idea I would sign my name , I don,t have an post high education so it seems like I not to ingline to give my opion even if I farmed for 35+ years and raised a family and still enjoy the land.

You are correct but don't forget that cash cropping has only been arguably profitable since 2008, where SM has been profitable since it was introduced 30 plus years ago thanks to 200%+ tariff protection. In a story in a major farm newspaper publication last week in was mentioned that top producing farmland in Iowa was bringing $6000-$7000 per acre, or half of here. I see a connection. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

Neither supply management nor ethanol represents any sort of true market. Supply management is built on a system of artificial prices, while grain farming is based on an artificial demand for ethanol. Both are nothing more than the legalized extortion of money from the poorest group of consumers, and both are nothing more than a legislated way to allow only certain groups of farmers to have an absolute advantage over other groups of farmers - it's all wrong, as well as the most hypocritical example of "Christian principles" on the part of farmers, and farm organizations, any of us will ever see.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The big problem no dairy farmer or poultry farmer wants to address is that supply management, by definition, pits farmer against farmer. I guess that, as an economist by principle, and by education, I have an advantage, maybe unfairly, but I don't think so, that I see answers where others can only see problems. The issue of the day is that supply managed farmers not only can't see problems, in their minds there can't possibly be problems, but non-supply managed farmers under forty can, and do, see the problems. With respect, if you've farmed for more than 35 years, you may not be able to see the situation the way you would see it if you'd farmed for only 5, and that is the nub of the issue, at least the way younger farmers keep telling me it is. The bigger issue, at least the way I see it, is that too many farmers have been brainwashed into believing that supply management is all benefit, and no cost, and refuse to believe the overwhelming evidence that it is more like the exact opposite situation. The "light at the end of the tunnel" is that ten years ago, or even five years ago, we wouldn't even be having this discussion because we'd be "drowned-out" by supply management die-hards, but now we can, and do - it's long overdue. Thanks for your posting, and next time, don't hesitate to sign your name.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

So again and again the great MBA holder Mr Stephen Tompson and his henchman the PFO keep singing the same old tune over and over again. So great wisdom master instead of preaching how evil SM is, whats the alternative??? for once stop the usual drivel of how evil SM is and its gotta go and give us your divine wisdom on whats better...please
let me guess free market? just like back in the 50s and 60s? just like the hog and beef industry,today.... cause its doing so well ....
you claim over and over your hord of under 40 something farmers are so unfairly treated by SM so whats the alternative, let everyone milk and grow poultry to levels of abundance and then what??? no price... is that really your dream? Your hord of unfairly treated farmers would all be bankrupt because without SM the industry of milk and poultry is GONE no one can make a dime without it as in england, australia and new zealand now, how much of the world market does the milk corporation in New Zealand control?? thats what you want?....so that s your option? wow that sounds awesome where do I sign up. The US wants so badly to bury us in anything cause they can produce so much more and cheaper than us and yet thats what you want, YOU would rather see product come from another country than a farmer here make a good living ??? and don t even try to tell me there can be a future in milk or poultry without SM because the only people that will win the battle is the corporations producing their goods from the cheapest source possible and mostly from poor farmers making nothing or imports coming in OUR country free, is that what you envision???. The SM system was put in place as a canadian system to enable farmers to make a living and be protected from foreign abundance flooding our markets and you want to dismantle that??? MBA or not how can you even suggest that we should as farmers take less than what is deserved. We work and grow our own food not supplied by someone else and there is a price for that, you don t like it go live somewhere else and STOP complaining. For the life of me I cannot figure out why the hog an beef industry would not want the same benefits. You people against this system are all racing to the bottom but I guess as long as were all poor and bankrupt thats fine with PFO and Thompson bravo boys way to go.....
You may have an MBA (big deal) but your hatred and anger severly deny your outlook and my god if you hate our system sooooo much and hate agriculture like you do then get out and stop telling us how smart you are were not impressed one bit. And don t put down the U of Guelph its a great school, your son would have done well there also, and your not the only one with a degree
OAC 87

maybe the author needs to be awakened to the fact that this is not the USA. What does it matter what the cost of anything is in the US compared to Canada? Do you live and breath in the USA, no you live in Canada, every country in the world is unique in its own way cost comparisons is irrelevant and a tool to many use to manipulate an argument like you do. If you want milk at 38% lower price than move to the US than let us know how much you pay for health care. What a stupid and baseless argument you make its pointless....
As for your free trade rant that is another empty policy that allows big corporations to produce more surplus and dump into any poor country that they can make a buck on. Canada as a nation is a sell out. We own nothing, we produce nothing that is ours, how many manufacturing etc jobs have we lost in ontario since your wonderfull free trade generation has been on watch. How many good paying jobs have been lost. Do we work harder longer since free trade? What have we sold out to the highest bidder, how many companies have been taken over by foreign investment in this country and pulled out whenever it pleases them or whenever the profits dry up and then we are left with the after affects, you sir are delusional, you and your economical cronies need to be locked up in a ward somwhere away from civilization as the canadian population cannot handle much more of your wonderful economics policies you so happily shove in our faces

OAC 07 If that was your last sentence you would not be a SM farmer. The difference between the hog/beef farmers and the SM farmers is that SM farmers have been on the recieving end of government funding every single day since SM was introduced 30 plus years ago through government set prices on their products, enforced by crazy high tariffs, while hog and beef have had government support only in tough years, yet they always seem to get the bad publicity when it does happen. At the same time they are getting the bad publicity the DFO is running an advertorial on how wonderful their system is making their products "safer and more affordable" when it has nothing to do with either. Claims like that are only misleading to any of the general public that are not educated on the subject. Even if quota went to zero tommorrow cows will still get milked and chickens will go to market because the smarter of the SM farmers will not have went in over their heads (used quota as security, and there are many who have not) and they will be fine. I watched the on TV the debate between Ron Versteeg and Martha Hall-Findlay. Ron was stumbling all over himself trying to explain how dairy products are only a tiny fraction more here and then try to answer why 200%+ tariffs are needed. Even if Mr. Thompson was a SM supporter he could not defend that one. Maybe DFO should become concerned with figuring out their system is going to allow thier next generation to happen at all. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

I do have a degree from Guelph (Ag Ec 72) - that's where I, like every other economics student, learned that tariffs like the ones which prop up supply management are bad economic policy and bad public policy. Everything we learned at that time about the evils of supply management, and the protectionist mentality behind it, has come true, and then some. If you hadn't obviously wasted your time at Guelph, you would realize that supply management was, and is, nothing more than extortion by dairy and poultry farmers. When, as you appear to have done, one can spend 4 years at University, and learn nothing, that's exactly the reason I didn't want my son do do likewise. For example, what is it about, as DFO admitted in late 2010, Canadian consumers paying almost 38% more for milk than US consumers that you can't see to be extortion? What is it about fresh pizza makers importing pizza topping mix which is 80% cheese that you can't see to be a response to extortion by dairy farmers? What is it about restaurant owners lining up to buy smuggled cheese from the gang which was recently busted that you can't see to be a response to extortion by dairy farmers? More to the point, how can anyone graduate from any agricultural university, and neither understand, nor even be aware of, the sorts of things any reasonably-intelligent person can figure out just by reading the newspaper?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The utmost purpose of a university education is learning how to think. If OAC 87 had learned how to think in the way university students are expected to learn how to think, he/she would not be a supply management supporter, nor could he/she be a supply management supporter. Since OAC 87 obviously never learned how to think, he/she received a substandard education from the OAC, and it shows. A very-real problem facing agriculture is that we have oodles of OAC grads who, like OAC 87, passed every course, and think they're smart and well-educated, but because they graduated without ever learning how to think, are dangerous not just to themselves, but also everyone/everything around them.
Would supply management be supported so strongly if, as a condition of graduation, OAC students were required to prove they knew how to think? - Not a chance!

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Are what ?
Self proclaim ?

Did you teach what you were told to teach . You did teach at one time too .
How many of your students are not farming today because the listened to you ?
Kind of like the old " do as I say not as I do " .


Once again, several cheer leading comments all about supply management by some one unwilling to use their own name, it leads me to believe that these types of comments must come from paid staffer at one of the supply managed boards. Because any farmers who was so passionate about supply management and felt it was such a fair and equal system would surely attach their name to their comments and not have to operate under nick names and nameless comments.

With your thinking I still don't understand why were not flooded and sinking in sheep and goat milk, from the USA ? Because the reality is that your fear mongering with out supply management farmers could form co-op's and take ownership in the processing plants and crate a product that retailers want and not a product forced on them by lack of choice. You can not stop progress even if you don't like how it looks or how it operates, but we can as individuals make choices and maybe just maybe food production wasn't meant to be a business after all, maybe the Good Lord wants us as individuals to produce our own food and share the rest. I will leave this to all of my Christian farming friends to ponder this.

Sean McGivern

Sean McGivern

my university education was never wasted and I ve done quite well with it also...but still you cannot come up with an answer to my question which makes you and your complaints irrelevant and insignificant......

That's the detailed plan, period. There is no reason to support supply management, never has been, and never will. It punishes consumers, it punishes other farmers, it punishes export oriented sectors of our economy, and it even punishes younger farmers trying to enter dairy and/or poultry farming - why else would there ever have been any sort of New Entrant program? Farmers have been brainwashed for far too long into believing that supply management is "all benefit and no cost" to society, that even when it is demonstrated to them that it is almost literally "all cost and no benefit", they refuse to believe it. I simply can't believe that supply management supporters not only know absolutely nothing about economics, they also persist in belittling those who do. Raube Beureman, Sean McGivern, and I, have systematically demolished every argument put forward by supply management advocates, yet they keep, like some sort of "whack-a-mole", coming back for more. At the expense of sounding elitist, get a degree in economics, from any university, and then ask the question, but by then you would know better than to ever ask the question. More to the point, instead of belittling the free market, dairy and poultry farmers need to start perparing their farm operations to deal with it.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

still the comments from the PFO or Thompson cannot answer simple questions, If you are so incredibly knowledgable where is your option or alternative to your constant critique of the SM system??? McGivern dribble to my question means nothing he s baffled by a no name which what? means nothing a name is nothing these are all opinions, are you trying to form an opinion about someones name??? you make no sense as usual. Thompson bashes the intelligence of wasted education but still comes up with no alternative just keeps re hashing his facts like the gospel. Yes its more expensive in Canada because its Canada not the US where the population is so much greater and completely different rules, your comparing apples to oranges....so do us a favor and please tell us oh great leader what the alternative is in your vast experience if SM is the evil you so claim it to be??? The both of you have nothing good to say just constant dribble about the evil that lurks but you both could have been invlolved in SM but chose not to, its a choice a farmer makes and if you did choose not to be involved take the risk then stop bashing the risk takers that did get involved. They took the risk while you sit and condemn on the sidelines without offering any alternative and your looking more and more like a chronic complainer thats never satisfied and never will be satisfied. Bad economic policy and public policy is rampant in every developed nation and you really think we are so much more evil than our neighbours?? It doesn t make it right but again i ask you what s the alternative and both of you are silent?? You have neither facts nor any concrete alternative just constant complaints and whining... McGivern talks about on the PFO website about not being a radical and thats exactly what you are on these forums. And Thompson rants about extortion?? really?? A product costs money like fuel, parts, machinery etc so be it I for one feel no regret that the public has to pay for a product because when I deal with a lawyer or accountant they absolutely don t care about my poor me problems its pay up or else. So this poor public has to pay whatever for food TO BAD....its time farmers get paid for what they do and not some multi nation corporation bleeding us for cheap products. So your whole economic prattle above is simply more useless crap like I did learn in Guelph and stored it under garbage. But back to the point please tell us your alternative and dont dodge the question this time. I want real answers....If your both so smart then dazzle us with wisdom on how this country should be run...
OAC 87

I am a poultry farmer and I support supply management. I don t want to eat or see foreign products in our grocery stores and I beleive we should get paid a decent return on our work and I wish the hog and beef guys would have the same. The cash crop guys are finally getting decent returns and if the public, ourselves included, have to pay more for food then so be it. We have other advantages in this country as compared to others, free health care, natural resources etc etc....Our manufacturing is being sold out right left and center to foreign investments, no jobs left in ontario is our farm products for sale also?? seems so by the comments i read here. The Maple Leafs, Maple Lodges etc don t care a whit about the farmers as long as profits remain high and if they can sqeeze us all the better. The DFO CFO OFA and any other acronym group that protects our interests to ensure a decent return has my full support. Political and public policy can take a back seat we are our own board of directors and our own sharholders that demand decent returns.
Woodstock Ontario

The answers are simple free market just like every other sector of agriculture some will survive and some perish that is the progression of life, we can not go on for ever supporting one little sector of agriculture, just so they are well rewarded at the expense of the rest of the farm community. Yes we may lose some farmers but lets be honest with our self's the number of SM farms is shrinking every year even after decade of SM farmers get there yearly annual allotment of free quota. So regardless if we have supply management or not the industry is changing and the farms are getting bigger each year and the power they have every year grows stronger, I think that now more then every SM farms are ready to stand on their own two feet and make a go of it or cash out and take up a new career. I also believe that diverse farms with a desire to be successful will always flourish and will always be able to make a go of it. Form coop's, do value adding and own the milk plants your self.

Sean McGivern

Sean McGivern

This suits you better than OAC 87. One sentence in your last colum stands out and that is "So the poor public has to pay whatever whatever for food TO BAD" I challenge you to put this story in any major newspaper with that sentence, they would chew you up and spit you out. You are a complete fool for writing that. Also, give me some examples of where bad public policy and bad economic policy are rampant in any democratic society today. If I wrote that garbage I would not put my name on it either. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

Comment modified by editor

Yes i did learn to think obviously you did not, you still cannot come up with a constructive intelligent alternate plan to the issues so you so well love to discredit. You remind me so much of a few profs in University that were so in love with their own voices and arguments but when challenged to come up with an alternate view, the subject was changed quickly. How easy it is for you to stand on the sidelines and bash an industry over 40yrs but yet have nothing to offer in return. You whine and cry about all the problems but cannot come up with a reasonable solution for us the public to consider and in return critique and pick apart as you so well love to do. The best McGivern can come up with is free market....how vague........there is enough production in Ontario as it is and that will not go away so where does the extra surplus go??? you seem both to forget that free market was exactly why SM was created because it failed. And in your wisdom you want to return to it? The both of you have no plan, no alternate solution no platform in which to stand on except to sit on the sidelines and create issues and hatred and angst amongst farm groups while others do the work. I have asked for an alternative plan from either of you and got nothing just more of the usual Thompson bashes my education, of which he knows nothing about and McGivern comes up with basically nothing of any real substance.
Although on your PFO website your issue with the free poultry allotment I kinda do agree with you. Im not sure why 300 in ontario per year, it seems low...Alberta is 2000 per calender year and Sask 999...but again I do not know all the facts but on the surface of the subject it does seem low...
OAC 87

I also would like to see a plan put forward by Mr. Thompson and Mr. McGivern. I do support supply management and after reading all the critical letters from both mentioned I think that it makes sense that they should propose an alternative. Free market will never work. So I am quite interested to read about how things should be done. A detailed plan please.....

Don't forget about the Menonite Cream producers who went to bed one night after years of shipping Grade A cream only to wake up to find all their cream was sub standard. DFO didn't have the decency to to do the job they are mandated to do with every producer, that is, work with the industry to bring the quality to standard.(this was in fact a ruse to shut the industry down) Then field reps told producers to sell their quota or loose it, thus making them persona non grata in any legal action. Yes SM is a great protector of the family farm!! SM means shrink the pool to maintain higher ave. returns, even at the expense of less farms and farmers, a mother eating her own. I agree the farmers and suppliers all benefit from the system and shutting it down would hurt,but this is an immoral aristocracy.

I agree, The DFO pulled off one of the biggest scams in the past 20 years to hit the farm community, when they pulled the rug out from underneath the cream producers, literally over night.
I think it's far greater then shame full its a full blown disgrace and shows the lack of ethics within the DFO.
In my opinion they are nothing more then a secrete society designed to only look after what is best for them and their bank accounts and they have zero respect or conscience for the rest of agriculture, Just look back to last year when the CWB ask the Dairy Farmers of Canada to support their fight to save the Wheat Board, they told them to basically take a hike, life is great in back yard buzz off. So lets cut the BS and stop saying were all in this together.... DFO society is on to you and your not looking to rosy...


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