Mark French knows his milk. As the former executive director of the Nevada State Dairy Commission, he also knows plenty about federal dairy regulations.
When Republican Assemblyman and Ponderosa Dairies manager Ed Goedhart cut a commercial vilifying Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for helping Southern Nevada’s Anderson Dairy, French could barely believe his ears. Goedhart was either lying or ignorant of the facts behind Reid’s effort, and French has decided to step up and set the record straight.
He writes, “There are many factual untruths presented by Mr. Goedhart that demand a response.
“During the time that deliberations were being made to change the Federal Milk Marketing Order that impacted Southern Nevada, a consortium of milk producers, processors, Teamsters Union and the Nevada State Dairy Commission united together to remove Nevada dairies from onerous Federal regulations that put Nevada dairies at a competitive disadvantage within our own markets. Ponderosa Dairy (the very dairy where Ed Goedhart is the manager) was in full support of the Federal Exemption and indeed was signatory to the letter recommending that Nevada be exempted! It is incredible that Mr. Goedhart claims that Ponderosa Dairy is somehow the victim of legislation they supported – in person and in writing!"
French goes on to shred Goedhart’s argument that Reid somehow hurt Ponderosa when he helped Anderson.
In a detailed letter, French gives Goedhart the rhetorical equivalent of a body slam, picking apart his flawed facts and revealing the politics behind the milk ad.
Complicating Goedhart’s dramatic but inaccurate portrayal is the fact his commercial was immediately plucked from YouTube and added to Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle’s official website. I have heard that the commercial is also in the process of being underwritten for airing on television.
Now back to the pummeling.
French writes, "Here are some of the salient points exposing the untruths of Mr. Goedhart’s statements:
– Beginning in 1999, a united consortium of Security Milk Producers, Ponderosa Dairy (yes, the same dairy managed by Ed Goedhart), Amargosa Dairy, Pahrump Dairy, Moapa Dairy, Anderson Dairy, Teamsters Union and the Nevada State Dairy Commission, communicated with Senators Richard Bryan and Harry Reid to begin dialogue to support exempting Clark County from proposed changes in the 2000 Farm Bill.
– As a result of the united effort of the above entities, Clark County was ultimately exempted from the Arizona Federal Milk Marketing Order (Of which Clark County was to be a part) which kept Clark County dairies from being placed at an industry killing price disadvantage. Prior to that time, Clark County was the only county in Nevada with milk producers and processors being Federally regulated.
– It must be understood that for many years prior to this legislation being passed, milk marketed by Security Milk Producers, of which Ponderosa Dairy is a member, was shipped into Southern California. It is absolutely disingenuous for Mr. Goedhart to asset that somehow he “now” has to ship milk 280 miles when that is the very thing they have done for decades to take advantage of a loophole of California milk laws.
– Further, if Ponderosa Dairy currently ships milk 280 miles into California, it is likely to circumvent the State of California’s milk regulations because of Federal Interstate Commerce laws. For that reason, it is likely that much of Ponderosa Dairy’s milk is shipped to their own milk processing facility in Downey, California.
– This has unfortunately become a political issue. Notwithstanding how it is perceived, it should be understood that at its foundation, the whole purpose of the exemption was to maintain the viability of the Nevada dairy industry. This allowed the milk industry in Nevada to survive in the face of Federal Regulations, which would have decimated Nevada dairies and likely crippled the industry. It is ironic that Senator Reid is being maligned in this instance for lessening Federal regulations, which in this instance, has directly allowed Nevada dairies to survive.
“Federal milk price formulations are complicated. The issues and truth behind the above explanation is not. Having Clark County removed from the Federal Milk Marketing Order has been a positive development for both Nevada consumers and the entire Nevada dairy industry, and has created a more positive environment for other dairy processors, such as Dean Foods (Meadow Gold) to establish operations in Clark County. Mr. Goedhart’s narrative is misleading and appears to be politically motivated.” At this point, the referee usually stops the fight and calls for a paramedic.
A brow beating this severe could be enough to leave Goedhart lactose intolerant.