Staying Competitive into the 21st Century: Issues and Challenges Facing the New York State Dairy Industry
Forker, Olan D.; Novakovic, Andrew M.
Dairy farmers. Farmers are challenged to take steps on their farms that will enhance their survival and generally improve the competitiveness of New York's dairy industry. Conference participants suggested that they pay particular attention to the following areas related to farm profitability: • Forage production or procurement • Labor • Analyzing their current mix of activities with an eye toward considering whether some restructuring or specialization would be beneficial • Becoming more involved in continuing education and expanding their role as a manager of the farm as opposed to a la borer on the farm. Dairy cooperatives. Cooperatives, as extensions of their member farms, face similar challenges in representing their members' interests and added challenges as marketing agencies. They and other farm organizations are looked to for: • Leadership in the development of quality and component pricing systems • Leadership in the formulation of regulatory and policy issues • Support for a variety of research initiatives, including both long-term product and market research and short-term studies of current topics. Dairy processors. Processors, individually and through representative organizations, are likewise called upon to provide support for long- and short-term studies relevant to the issues discussed at this conference. They are challenged to: • Give additional thought to regulatory issues • Try to speak on regulatory topics in a more coordinated and cohesive way • Exert greater influence on the research and education agendas of public educational institutions. They need to work with representatives of dairy farmers and become more actively involved with public educational institutions. State of New York. The state, primarily, but not exclusively, through the Department of Agriculture and Markets, is looked to as the agency to provide some financial support and coordinating authority for industry-oriented research and education. The state is challenged to: • Define a policy or position with respect to dairy industry support and development • Judge its laws and programs relative to the interests of the dairy industry. Educational institutions. Universities are challenged to pay greater attention to the pressing needs of the dairy industry, New York's largest agricultural sector and a major component of its overall economy. This includes: • Formulating educational programs targeted toward such current needs as forage production, land use, labor training, and processing technology • Conducting basic research aimed at improving New York's competitive position as well as conducting topical studies on, for example, pricing systems, new products and processes, markets, and the implications of current or alternative federal or state regulations. The challenge is large and the needs are many. It may be too easy for all involved to become overwhelmed. Further discussions are needed among and between the various industry groups to assess priorities and determine whether action can and should be initiated first.
A.E. Ext. 89-18
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University