Leduc dairy farmer says keep U.S. out

Greg Debbink says supply management created successful Canadian dairy industry

Dear editor,

My family has been dairy farming around Leduc since 1962. I am currently taking over the family farm with one of my brothers. And I’d like to weigh into the debate on supply management as it’s important in our agricultural community.

Supply management is how we keep our milk local. It simply means that we don’t heavily export milk, so your glass of milk is from local farms like mine. That milk will not be cheaper if we don’t have supply management. In fact, according to A.C. Nelson, milk is cheaper in Canada than the USA.

Under NAFTA, Americans want access to our market because they have a serious milk over supply problem. However, the state of Wisconsin produces more milk than all of Canada, so it wouldn’t take long before they would just fill up Canada too. I have a quota to produce milk, so this over supply and waste doesn’t happen in Canada. We’re also self-sufficient so we don’t get a dime in subsidies from the government (unlike every single other dairy market in the world).

Canada also has higher quality milk compared to American milk. Why would we want a lesser quality product? Added hormones are completely illegal in my cows.

I support agriculture commodities that rely on exporting. It’s possible to defend the interests of all different types of farmers that exist in our community.

Supply management shows our Canadian values: local, community driven, not wasteful and high quality.

Greg Debbink, Leduc County

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