At a recent milk hearing conducted by the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board, a few people were asking for the Board to extend the Class I Premium to cover all Pennsylvania dairy farmers.
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milk and money

To me this is a great idea! Most of us have thought the same thing.

However, no one has come up with a plan that would generate that kind of money. Do you want to take the present $1 premium and divide it among all of our dairy farmers in Pennsylvania? Or do you want to double the premium up to $2.50 per hundredweight (cwt)?

What will that do to Class I sales? Do you expect our Class I handlers to continue to collect more and more money from the stores? Can our stores collect this kind of money from their customers?

I don’t think it is fair for the stores to extract more money from their customers! What about the sacred cow?! I call all of the milk handlers that handle 70% of the milk across the country the “sacred cows.” They seem to always find a way not to pay additional money to their producers or buying handlers. It has been this way since the 1960s.

Don’t you dairy farmers realize that in most of our federal orders, the Class I handlers pay money into the federal orders so the “sacred cows” — the manufacturers of dairy products — can take money from the order and pay the same starting price as the fluid handlers do.

No, please don’t expect the Class I handlers to bail out the other handlers. In my opinion, the only way to correct the problem is to establish a new pricing formula based on the national average cost of producing milk.

A new pricing formula must consist of a base excess plan based on the production of all producers. If any producer produces an amount of milk that is over their base and the milk is not needed, they will receive a much smaller price on their base milk. Hopefully they will wake up.

If we don’t do something like a base plan, then I’ll see you at the next milk hearing, without a fair price.

Arden Tewksbury,

Progressive Agriculture Organization


China’s dairy imports have slowed amid rolling Covid lockdowns and a weakening economy that has many analysts slashing their 2022 and 2023 economic growth estimates for the country.

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