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Milk Money by [Sanders, Bernie, Kardashian, Kirk]
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Milk Money Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Length: 278 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When Kardashian began taking his daughter to day care at a family-run dairy farm in Vermont, he began to pay closer attention to more than simply the price of milk, cheese, and yogurt. His focus shifted to price fluctuation, speculation in the commodities market, government agricultural policies, and factory farming. Why is it that each year small dairy farms fail, despite the steady demand for this food staple and government subsidies? Kardashian provides deep historical context, from 12,000 years ago, when farming was on the rise, to the modern science of breeding cows that produce more milk to automated milking machines. He examines a range of issues, from immigrant labor to the roles of genetically modified feed, antibiotics, and artificial growth hormones to, most moving, the tragically negative impact of giant dairy processors on the day-to-day life of family farmers. Kardashian’s consciousness-raising journalism aims to boost knowledge about how milk is produced and why thousands of small farmers can’t make a decent living and are losing their farms. --Vanessa Bush

Review

“When Kardashian began taking his daughter to daycare at a family-run dairy farm in Vermont, he began to pay closer attention to more than simply the price of milk, cheese, and yogurt. His focus shifted to price fluctuation,speculation in the commodities market, government agricultural policies, and factory farming. Why is it that each year small dairy farms fail, despite the steady demand for this food staple and government subsidies? Kardashian provides deep historical context, from 12,000 years ago, when farming was on the rise, to the modern science of breeding cows that produce more milk to automated milking machines. He examines a range of issues, from immigrant labor to the roles of genetically modified feed, antibiotics, and artificial growth hormones to most moving, the tragically negative impact of giant dairy processors on the day-to-day life of family farmers. Kardashian’s “consciousness-raising journalism” aims to boost knowledge about how milk is produced and why thousands of small farmers can’t make a decent living and are losing their farms.”—Booklist


"[An] excellent book. . . . Kardashian digs into [his investigation] with real depth and intelligence, and Milk Money represents a significant contribution to the burgeoning field of muckraking forays into the food system." —Orion


“Kardashian’s legal expertise provides the book’s most stunning insights, particularly when he translates for a lay public the impact of governments’ decisions on the dairy industry. In his chapter on dairy workers, for example, he reveals that the North American Free Trade Agreement included provisions forcing Mexico to eliminate its subsidies for small farms (while the U.S.’ were maintained) and put its communal farming land up for private sale.”—Seven Days (Burlington, VT)


“The struggle of dairy farms in New England and nationally is not news to anyone, but Kirk Kardashian’s book successfully digs into the complexities of why and is an eye-opener. . . . Kardashian . . . has a good investigative journalist style with clear explanations to unpack the many issues of the dairy crisis and may be a catalyst for saving smaller farms before they’re all gone. Milk Money is more than timely and worth a read.”—Providence Journal

Product Details

  • File Size: 1356 KB
  • Print Length: 278 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Hampshire Press (August 28, 2012)
  • Publication Date: August 28, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0098ODOMU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,190,022 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As the daughter, niece, sister, aunt, wife and mother of California dairymen, I am grateful to Kirk Kardashian for explaining the unexplainable. I have recommended this book to the California Department of Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, and have purchased and passed the book on to the owner of A.L. Gilbert Feed Company, and to California State Assembly Member Susan Eggman. I recommend Milk Money to anyone even remotely involved with the dairy industry.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although its focus is mainly on the U.S. dairy industry, many of the things analyzed in this book is perfectly valid for other industrial dairy economies, such as that in Mexico.
My only disappointment was that the 2009 mergers and aquisitions by the Mexican dairy giant LaLa are not mentioned here. These mergers ended up with LaLa being the second largest dairy complex in the US and the fifth largest in the world, according to a CNN analysis.
But the environmental and social consequences of industrial dairy production are well pictured in this book.
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Format: Hardcover
First, I take offense to the subtitle “and the Death of the American Dairy Farm.” Did he mean the “Conventional American Dairy Farm?” Perhaps this gives a clue to his overall take on the dairy industry.

Kirk Kardashian was first a lawyer (Vermont Law 2004) and then a freelance writer and now is a senior writer at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He got interested in the dairy industry because of his daughter’s daycare at a local Vermont dairy. He wanted to understand how the family could work so hard and yet never get ahead financially. Thus, in 2009 he launched into a deep investigation of the dairy industry and published Milk Money in 2012. “I wanted to know how the dairy industry had arrived at its current location...I wanted to uncover the implications of that journey...And I wanted to know how we might navigate to a place more just, prosperous, and sustainable” (xv). He is not a dairy farmer, nor evidently had any family in dairying. This is not a limiting factor on his work, it just gives insight that he is looking in and not within.

The book is very easy to read and peppered with entertaining descriptions of characters people ranging from dairymen to animal rights activists to migrant workers and veterinarians. It also has simple chapter titles such as “The Workers” and “The Animals” that make it possible to just read a chapter and come back to the book later. The early chapters give an overview of dairy statistics, the evolution of dairying, and the mutant gene that allows the consumption of milk. The later chapters are focused more on one topic such as “The Environment,” with the final one focusing on a particular producer-handler in New York.
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Format: Hardcover
Ok, first off I want to say that there are a lot of risque products with the same title as this book being sold out there. This is not one of those. This review is for the book about a liquid that comes from cows and its impact in the US market.

Milk Money is a brief look at dairy farming in the USA. Ranging from the death of small dairy businesses, to stress on dairy farmers, conditions of dairy workers and farmhands, and the price of milk, almost every conceivable topic about milk is covered. There are internal looks at how some of the smaller and larger farms work. Why the industry is dying and farmers are going of business and to new businesses that are focused on quality are cropping up and thriving. There's even a look at the organic milk industry and how it really runs.

I wasn't really surprised by a lot of what I read in this book. Greed is a very big factor in America's food system and a lot of quality is cut to drive prices lower and lower. The way people treat animals says a lot about them and those cows are generally not treated the way you would expect from the sunny ads advertising milk on tv. As the writer, Kardashian presents a sometimes biased account of the farms and the big milk producers. His bias isn't without merit though, he provides facts to back up how he feels about these enterprises. But some of his comparisons are a little sensational and detract from the overall theme of the book.

This book is a quick read and for the most part easy to understand. There are sections (especially when we get to anti-trust laws and business laws) that are harder to understand and the sheer volume of acronyms makes things confusing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am recent graduate student who studied the milk industry for his master's thesis, but I did not come across this book until after I had finished. I must say that it has really in depth coverage of many issues surrounding the dairy industry, and I think it paints a fair picture of the pressures and changes that have come about the industry in the last 100 years. Really great.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Milk marketing is a very complex issue that I don't think most dairy farmers have a real good handle on. I always felt it was deliberately convoluted to keep producers in the dark. This is not always a rosey picture painted in this book, but it is a very real account fo the economic pressures felt by dairy farmers.
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