The Ethanol Mandate Is Hurting Farmers

April 10, 2015

 “When it comes to the corn ethanol mandate, it has really affected us in a very dramatic way…When you’re losing $100,000 a month, it’s pretty tough to stay in business.”

Johnny Tacherra, a third-generation dairy farmer from California, is taking a stand against the federal ethanol mandate because of its significant impact on animal feed prices which drives up the cost of doing business at his Morning Star Dairy.

This mandate, created by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), forces millions of gallons of biofuels like corn ethanol into the fuel supply, diverting more than 40 percent of the U.S. corn crops into our fuel tanks instead of being used to feed cattle, dairy cows and livestock. By forcing a new buyer into the corn market—refiners—the RFS increases competition for corn and drives the cost of feed through the roof, leaving Johnny with two choices: drastically increase the price of his product, milk, to cover the skyrocketing production costs or close his dairy and eliminate the jobs and local economic contributions it provides.

Johnny isn’t the first California farmer taking a stand against the ethanol mandate. In 2013, some of Johnny’s fellow California dairymen also spoke out against the policy, saying it “has been devastating to us financially.” Across the country, livestock producers including the National Turkey Federation, National Chicken Council and the National Council for Chain Restaurants, who rely on farmers like Tacherra, have also called for reform to the RFS because of increasing food and feed prices.

But it’s not just farmers; the RFS impacts everyone, from farmers to bikers and everyday consumers, in ways you may not have noticed. Tell your Congressmen it’s time to put an end to the unintended consequences of the Renewable Fuel Standard. 

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