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Agriculture / Conservation News
Remember the Dairy Farmer

By Ernest Finch, State Agriculture Director

  NOVEMBER 2009 --

Poor Dairy Farmers - When I say Poor Dairy Farmers, I mean they are producing milk at a cost of $3.50 per gallon, and they are being paid $1.00 per gallon. I saw a lady at the State Capitol on Agriculture Day in March who told me they lost $10,000 in the month of February. They milk around 1,100 cows. I receive the Lancaster Farming paper, and they told of a meeting in Garclonville, PA where farmers were looking for answers. They expected about one hundred people, and it turned out to be around five hundred.

A lady farmer at this meeting that had bills of $50,000 because her son was in the hospital and she had a milk check of $15,000. There was a federal order passed in 1930 or 1931 to help farmers get a fair price for milk, but this order did not do anything for the farmers because dealers could do anything they wanted with the price.

Gordon Gibson spoke a while ago of milk from California. This milk would be a week old before we would get it. I saw a farm in Idaho that had 14,000 cows and I heard of a farm in California that had 30,000 cows. There is no way that could be done here. Their biggest problem was getting rid of the manure. The thing I do not know is if all the milk is used for something and with the increase of population, why we have the problem.

The next time you buy milk, remember the dairy farmer.


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