One of the biggest threats to the dairy industry today is not what you would think. It’s not pricing or regulations, and believe it or not, it is not even White House politics. The biggest threat to the dairy industry today is division within the dairy community.
A growing and rather unnoticed trend in the industry is the division among dairy producers over concepts that are really rather trivial. It is now common place to find attacks and belittlements online from one dairy producer toward another, instead of encouragement and support.
We in the dairy community have enough struggles. If the business was not hard enough due to pricing, regulations, and activists, throw in the struggles of life, and it can be too much for some to bear. We as producers should feel comfortable reaching out to one another for assistance without the threat of being humiliated or talked down to.
Now, more than ever, our dairy community is under attack. A small handful of animal activists are trying their best to decimate everything that we hold dear. They want to strip us of our animals and forcefully alter our way of life. These activists do not have the same moral values as we do in the dairy community. They intend to shut down farms that have been passed down for generations in order to complete their agenda.
With that being said, it is time to bury the hatchet in the ground and not in another’s back. It’s time to be overly supportive and encouraging of one another, giving a helping hand to those in need. It is time to stop speaking ill of those who choose to differentiate themselves in the dairy industry and learn to respect our differences.
Here is your challenge moving forward:
1. Refrain from name calling or belittlements.
2. Build each other up, and don’t tear each other down.
3. We all milk cows! Just because the cows are a different breed or managed differently, that does not give you the right to be rude.
We are a community of highly specialized and extremely determined men and women who, when we put our minds to it, cannot be stopped.
Tyler Ribeiro is a fourth-generation dairy farmer born and raised in California. He is currently partners with his father at Rib-Arrow Dairy in Tulare where they proudly ship their milk to Land O’Lakes. Tyler is actively involved in the dairy industry, holding leadership roles in various organizations locally and across the United States.