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I have to admit I was amazed when I heard some people may consider tinkering with HB1265, possibly taking other action to urge the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board to consider a possible alternate so-called premium on bottled milk in Pennsylvania.  This money would be paid to the poor dairy cooperatives to cover some of the dairy co-ops’ cost in marketing milk!  Unbelievable.

The last time I looked in the papers, two large cooperatives were recording record profits.

I don’t think the Board was ever created to help to pay co-ops cover their cost in marketing milk.  Remember, doesn’t one dairy cooperative claim to be the king of the mountain?  I don’t know; maybe things aren’t too good up on the mountain.  Maybe they should make more milk protein concentrate which could make things even worse!

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

When you sell milk to any buying handler, the seller is supposed to negotiate a handling allowance on the milk he is selling.   This allowance is supposed to cover such things as milk inspections, all lab work, such as butterfat, protein, quality of the milk, etc., check writing (which is really an administrative cost).

A seller of milk may have different contracts with buyers depending on the amount of milk a buyer wants and when the buyer wants the milk.  And there is nothing wrong with making a few cents.

A seller doesn’t have to worry much about the hauling cost, because since Federal Order Reform in 2000, most of, if not all the hauling costs are levied on the dairy farmer.

But now some dairy co-ops and their supporters may ask the Marketing Board to collect more money for them.

Let’s get smart.  First let’s be sure the qualified dairy farmer receives every penny of the Class I premium that’s due them, and then let’s not even think of anyone getting their hands in the cookie jar again!

Sincerely,

Arden Tewksbury

Manager, Pro-Ag Organization

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