A Step in the right direction

Wisconsin State Farmer

An editorial by Pro-Ag.

Left: Arden Tewksbury confers with Sec. of Ag Tom Vilsack in 2015.

Even though Congress has stripped the United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack of the majority of programs he could administer to help dairy farmers;  sixty-one members of Congress have sent a letter to the Secretary urging him to take emergency action to help dairy farmers overcome some of their financial needs.

According to insiders in the USDA, the Secretary has definitely received the letter and he is considering any action that he might take.  These Congressmen must be commended for their action.

In all probability the Secretary might consider purchasing some of the excess cheese that is in storage.  Some suggestions have been made.  Evidently, if dairy products are purchased, the products will be given to the needy throughout the United States.

When the dust settles from whatever action the Secretary takes, then I hope the sixty-one Congressmen and many other members of Congress realize that further action must be taken by Congress to avoid any further messes that are adversely affecting all dairy farmers.

Such actions must be: a new pricing formula that takes in consideration the dairy farmers’ cost of production.  In addition, a feasible milk supply management program must be implemented.  Such a program would penalize any dairy farmer that produces more milk than the domestic market can handle.  The penalty would be levied on excess milk, but would not affect the normal amount of milk produced.

I learned recently that the last milk plant in New York City is closing.

Pro-Ag can be reached at 570-833-5776.