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Thursday, July 7, 2022

No Farmer Wants to Dump Their Milk or Plow Under Their Crops

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Devastating photos of dairy farmers dumping milk and produce farmers tilling their plants into the soil have understandably caused outrage and sorrow. The first thing to understand is that NO farmer chooses this path. Nothing pains a farmer more than a lost crop or product, particularly one that they themselves must plow under or dump down the drain.

The idea of wasting something as precious as food, especially when there is so much unmet demand for healthy food, is painful to all of us. Many outraged people have pointed fingers, either at farmers or at food banks that can’t find ways to make use of that food.

While the anger is understandable, assigning blame doesn’t help, and no one person is to blame. Unfortunately, there are no quick solutions. But there are people working on this challenge, starting with farmers, food banks, commercial kitchens and other folks on the ground who are figuring out ways around huge logistical hurdles. Members of Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working on policies and programs to make sure that good food does not go to waste, that farmers receive payment for their products, and that people who need food can access it.

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