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CDFA’s billion dollar blunder?

Did a December 2007 decision by the California Department of Food & Agriculture set in motion an economic catastrophe California dairy families continue to face? Yes, according to Michael Marsh, CEO of Western United Dairymen, writing in last week’s WUD Weekly Update.
That fateful decision by Ag Secretary A. G. Kawamura has cost the state’s dairy families dearly, Marsh said. Nearly a quarter of the state’s dairy families lost their businesses, having been whipsawed by feed prices driven out of control by a federal ethanol mandate and a California milk price now disconnected from the market.
Since Kawamura’s decision, California dairy families have witnessed $940 million transferred from their checkbooks to California cheese makers, Marsh said. And, if pricing trends remain relatively constant through November, that cumulative transfer from farmers to cheese plants will eclipse $1 billion. Read more …