Dairy farmers are being taken to the cleaners again

Now Media Group

A guest editorial by Arden Tewksbury, Manager of Pro-Ag.

Dairy farmers all across the United States have received another serious jolt with the announcement of the Class I Price (fluid price) in Federal Order #1 coming in at $16.89. This is a drop of $2.40 per cwt. (hundred-weight) below the ridiculous January price of $19.29. This latest price could mean the pay price in Order #1 could fall into the $15 per cwt. range. (The same thing will happen across the U.S.)

I'm asking members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to take immediate action to curb this upcoming disaster.

After all they are the ones who gave us the most recent Farm Bill, which eliminates the MILC payments, the Dairy Price Support Program, and gave dairy farmers the great fiasco of the Margin Insurance Program, which does not do one thing to improve prices to dairy farmers.

Both the Senate and House Ag Committees must have emergency hearings and listen to the average dairy farmer say what this plummet in milk prices will do to the dairy farmers and the rural areas.

And please remember that the present pricing formula used to determine the dairy farmers' price contains a make allowance which allows milk processors to cover most of their costs. Why are the dairy farmers being left out?

I strongly urge Senators like Senator Casey, Gillibrand, Toomey, Leahy, Sanders, Collins, Feinstein and Boxer, as well as others to step up to the plate and immediately address this serious problem.

Washington gave us the Farm Bill; now you must correct the inequities! Action must be taken! There are various grass roots organizations that have ideas how to correct the problem. Please listen to all of them.

Also, the US Congress years ago forced dairy farmers to pay for advertising their milk. Advertising will not correct the problem, especially when some advertising people are receiving nearly 1 million dollars a year in salaries, and especially when dairy princesses are passing out fat-free chocolate milk instead of delicious whole milk at sporting events.

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