Dairy Farmers Losing Ground, Asking For Help

From Potter County Today

Area dairy farmers participated in a National Family Farm Coalition conference to spotlight the tightening financial crunch plaguing small fair farms. Among them was a familiar name among Potter County dairy producers — Arden Tewksbury of Wyoming County. He is a lifelong dairyman and advocate for small dairy farms. Tewksbury told a nationwide audience that it costs Pennsylvania’s dairy farmers about $2.00 to produce a gallon of milk, but they only receive approximately $1.32 for the product. There is still money to be made in the milk business, but it’s going to companies at the other end of the tanker trucks who process, package and sell the finished product.

The coalition strongly backs federal legislation to improve dairy farmers’ return on investment. Tewksbury said he believes American consumers would support the legislation, even if the pricing adjustments meant higher milk prices. He also claimed that small farmers have little standing in Congress, while corporations — many of which want to import more milk products — have lobbying clout and deep pockets.

Coalition members pointed out that there are about 57,000 dairy farms in the nation, and one-third of them are at risk of disappearing as the crisis gets worse. As this happens, the importation of milk protein will increase.

Article courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners.

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