Skirting the issue

EDITOR: Why do our political people continue to avoid the real problem that is facing the majority of dairy farmers all across the United States? Let's face it, what dairy farmers really need is a fair price for their efforts in producing milk for the United States consumers. Yes, a price and again a fair price-since 1981 dairy farmers have been victimized by various schemes that were supposed to save the dairymen! If this is true, than why have countless numbers of dairy farmers been forced out of business?

To all of our Washington DC politicians; it's time you understand the salvation for our dairy farmers is price! Price! Price! No longer can dairy farmers tolerate crumbs being thrown to them to quiet them down.

With all due respect to Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) and the bills that she is introducing, these efforts are not going to save the New York farmers or the dairy farmers in any state. Any form of margin insurance is not the answer, even if you sweeten the pie by using a $6.50 per cwt margin instead of $4 per cwt margin. This is just not the answer.

I'm glad Senator Gillibrand recognizes that dairy farmers are paid on a flawed pricing system. We have been clamoring this for many years. Senator, dairy farmers need a new pricing system now and I mean now.

If there is going to be a milk supply management system, then everyone must participate in the program (if needed) to preserve the right price that dairy farmers are entitled to.

We should and must ask Senator Gillibrand to amend her bill to include a new pricing formula that would give all dairy farmers a chance to cover their cost.

Dairy farmers don't have time for the USDA to conduct a series of milk hearings across the USA, and then report to Congress. Dairy farmers across the United States are suffering from the pricing formula that the USDA implemented in the year 2000.

While Senator Gillibrand is at least trying to help the dairy farmers, where in the world are the rest of the members of Congress? It's time for them all to wake up and realize there is a solution to the dairy farmers' tragedy. The answer is contained in S-1640. All you have to do is take the pricing formula and the supply management program from S-1640 and implement it in Gillibrand's bill now-not later.

I'm tired of politicians throwing up their hands and saying that the dairy problems are too unique to solve. Wrong! There is an answer, it's time some of the politicians and some of the leaders in the dairy co-ops get their heads out of the sand and help Senator Gillibrand solve the problem, and solve it now.

Dairy farmers don't need margin insurance paid by taxpayers to cover only a portion of their losses. They need a dairy bill that gives them an opportunity to stay in business.

In the meantime, whatever happened to the results of the investigation into the dairy industry by Allee Ramadhan in the Bush administration, and now where are the results of Christine Varney's hearings regarding the dairy industry?

Something just doesn't smell right!

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

Arden Tewksbury

Meshoppen, Pa.