QIP Hardship

Feb 14, 2024

To Whom It May Concern, 

I write today to urgently address an egregious injustice that has plagued our livelihood as a first-generation dairy producer. The deduction of QIP from our milk check has placed an overwhelming financial burden upon me and my family, leaving us socially disadvantaged and trapped in a cycle of inequity.

The quota system was implemented long before my time, forcing us to deduct $9,029.00 from our monthly milk proceeds continually. Even attempts to compensate for this loss by increasing milk production result in further deductions, leaving us in perpetual financial instability. Despite our tireless efforts, our earnings consistently fall below the cost of operating our business. It costs our business $21.00 to operate, and our pay price has been $17.00 per hundredweight gross. Each month, our equity decreases, and our hopes for financial stability are lost as we cannot afford to purchase quota to close the gap. This has left us at a financial disadvantage to those with greater financial means.

Moreover, this is a form of “taxation without representation,” providing no tangible benefit in return. While struggling to meet our tax obligations at the state, federal, and county levels, we endure the burden of the quota tax assessment, which totals $108,348.00 per year or a staggering $1,083,480.00 over a decade. These losses represent more than just numbers on a balance sheet; they translate into tangible sacrifices, such as a load of hay or grain that could have been paid for each month or financial stability for my children. 

Adding insult to injury, we find ourselves ignorantly supporting the retirement or equity fund of another individual. The prospect of retiring with a mere $600.00 monthly from social security payments is a cruel irony. I am consistently reminded of my economic status among my fellow dairymen. It saddens me that my wife had to go back to work to help support the basic needs of my family as she too would like to see our business succeed. How can anyone wrap their head around the idea that as an elder I may be burdening my children when I have spent my life supporting the retirement or equity of others with nothing in return?

It is abundantly clear that our current socio-economic status has made us targets of systemic profiling and discrimination, leading us to be socially disadvantaged. We are systematically deprived, unfairly penalized for our hard work and dedication to our business, and unjust enhancement of others. This is not merely an issue of economics; it is a matter of fundamental fairness and human dignity that my state of California champions on behalf of protected groups daily.

We implore you to take immediate action to rectify this injustice. We demand an indefinite halt to the deduction of QIP from my milk check and a comprehensive review of the quota system. Our future and my children’s future hang in the balance of your hands. When justice is delayed, it becomes justice denied.


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