If a picture is worth 1,000 words, how much is a video worth, particularly when it’s shared with thousands of others via social media? In terms of the price tag for a farm’s reputation, or even the entire dairy industry, the wrong kind of video can be quite costly indeed. That has been demonstrated, yet again, as animal rights activist group released last month another undercover video depicting improper animal care practices on a dairy farm.
What a change 2014 has brought for the nation’s dairy farmers. Milk prices have reached record levels, and feed prices have plunged to the lowest level in nearly a decade, thanks to ideal growing conditions in the Corn Belt.
It’s a long way, indeed, from the dark days of 2009, when farmers lost money on every hundredweight of milk they produced, month after month. That prolonged period of non-existent operating margins between 2007 and 2009 robbed farmers of a collective $20 billion in equity.