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OPINION

Tewksbury: Premium helps some Pennsylvania farmers

Pro-Ag
Arden Tewksbury, Manager of Progressive Agriculture Organization, testifying last week in Harrisburg at the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board hearing.

Arden Tewksbury, Manager of the Progressive Agriculture Organization, testified at a hearing of the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board last week, urging the continuation of the $1.00 per cwt. premium on the majority of milk bottled and sold in Pennsylvania. He further stated that the national average cost of producing milk across the nation is $21.66 per cwt. 

While the premium does help some Pennsylvania dairy farmers, it still leaves a large void of needed income for Pennsylvania dairy farmers. Tewksbury told the Board that the dollar premium in Pennsylvania clearly parallels the dollar premium that Readington Farms that Whitehouse, New Jersey is paying their producers.

He further stated, “It is good to see everyone who testified is on the same page with the $1.00 premium.”

Arden Tewksbury

Following the meeting, Tewksbury has been in contact with several Federal legislators, urging the passing of United States Congressman GT Thompson’s fluid milk, HR 832, which would allow all schools across the United States to serve whole milk in their cafeterias. 

He further stated, while there has been a lot of hoopla in the State of Pennsylvania about this bill becoming law, everyone must realize that there are many states that have no legislators who have signed onto this bill. 

Tewskbury stated, “The last time I checked, there were no sponsors from California, Idaho, New Mexico, Michigan, Washington, and Texas (however, Congressman Conaway (TX) is a sponsor.)  These six states produce approximately 40% of the milk in the US, and they only have one representative as a cosponsor of bill HR 832.”

To help the cause, Pro-Ag is now talking to some of the top educational people in Pennsylvania to get additional support. 

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