Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Molly Niesen


This paper, using a political economic approach, explores the communication techniques used during a second-wave of consolidation in the dairy industry in the 1980s. After providing a historical context of the dairy industry and its connections with federal policy, this paper follows the story of a large dairy cooperative: Association Milk Producers, Inc. (AMPI) and how it influenced public policy and consumption through interconnected dairy organizations like the National Milk Producers Federation and by using a political action committee. This paper provides an example of Carey's (1997) treetops propaganda by way of the powerful political action committee C-TAPE and the AMPI women. The government influence in regulating the production and consumption of dairy dispels the myth of the free market.