March 10, 2009 is the cutoff for dairy producers to become members of the Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) program if they are considering submitting a bid in the next CWT herd removal.
CWT Chief Operating Office, Jim Tillison, reported in Thursday’s DairyLine that they are trying to build participation.
He said that, “With the way things are out in the country right now, we’re going to have to take some significant action regarding herd retirements in the coming 12 months and, to do that, we’re going to need the support of as many dairy farmers as we can get.”
He quickly added that “CWT exists for people that want to stay in the dairy business.” Its goal is to “get milk prices at a level where it’s a profitable business to be in,” and “because of what CWT does, people lose track of that.”
An advertising program is being conducted to get participation as high as possible, he said, “So the program can be as effective as possible and take out the number of cows that need to be removed so we can get milk prices back up to where they need to be.”
Is CWT big enough to give the dairy industry the supply management it needs? Tillison answered, “It certainly is for this time.” He said the industry is in the position it is today, not because dairy farmers have overproduced but because the world and domestic markets have collapsed, “So CWT is asking producers to sign up for two years and, with a two year commitment we’ll be able to have the resources necessary to have a significant impact on their milk price.”