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Press Releases

Dairy Farm Family Crisis Hearing

Farm Women United

“Taking Back Our Food Supply, One Farm Policy Project at a Time”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tina Carlin

FWU Correspondence Liaison

570-267-7405

Please use this in your newspaper or television news cast.


Farm Women United (FWU), a grass-roots association organized by farm women to “Take back our food supply, one policy project at a time,” is holding a “Dairy Farm Family Crisis Hearing" on July 24, 2018, from 9 am to 5 pm, at the Lairdsville Fire Hall, 143 School Lane, Lairdsville, PA 17742.

Farm Women United (FWU) has scheduled this "Dairy Farm Family Crisis Hearing" to benefit the public, in an effort to help identify causes of and solutions for the current financial crisis overwhelming local dairy farmers all across the nation. The "Dairy Farm Family Crisis Hearing" will allow dairy farmers, rural businesses, consumers, members of faith communities, farmer advocates, elected officials, invited speakers, and other interested parties from across America, to address the worsening economic crisis on US dairy farms that is a threat to the survival of the few remaining local dairy farmers and rural businesses along with a fresh, nutritious, local milk supply for consumers. The dairy farmer crisis is hitting dairy farms of all sizes, in all regions, including organic dairy farmers. 


"We have already had a very enthusiastic and positive response to news of the Hearing, with many people contacting us to express support for this effort on behalf of saving our dairy farmers. However, one disturbing theme has been recurring in our conversations and that is that some farmers are afraid to attend and speak out because of repercussions from their milk handler, cooperative, creamery, or milk inspector. These farmers are literally living in fear of reprisals, including loss of their milk market, so are afraid to exercise their Constitutional right to free speech. This should never happen in America, but it is and is quite reflective of the outrageous conditions farmers are living under. We assure anyone who may have this concern, that testimony, statements, letters, and comments can be submitted anonymously to [email protected], even if attendance is impossible. Please don’t be afraid to send us your story," said FWU Executive Director Tina Carlin.


Guest speakers include Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Niaz Dorry, Executive Director of the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) and Coordinating Director for the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA), among others. Guest attendees will include Congressman Tom Marino who represents Pennsylvania's 10th Congressional District, Deputy Secretary for Animal Health and Food Safety, Gregory Hostetter,  and Alan Zepp, Risk Management Program Manager, Center for Dairy Excellence.


Speakers, presentations, and opportunities to testify will be available throughout the Hearing so attendees can arrive and leave at any time. Lunch will be available for purchase from the Lairdsville Volunteer Fire Company.


"Most people do not understand that farmers have no control over the price they get paid for their milk. The federal government is in the driver's seat with a complicated 'formula' that does not allow our business costs to be covered in the milk price. This is nuts. To make matters worse, the milk market is dominated by huge and powerful dairy co-op interests that need to be investigated because they have monopolized the markets with blatant actions showing market corruption. What will it take for Congress to represent the American citizens who operate farms and rural businesses in the local community and not big global dairy 'Industry' processor corporate interests that stand to gain by outsourcing all of our milk and dairy products in the 'world market'? FWU's 'Hearing' is absolutely necessary since Washington is doing nothing to help dairy farming families," said FWU Vice-President Donna Hall.


All concerned about the future of America's food supply should participate with the Hearing in some way, by attending and/or by submitting a brief comment or more lengthy testimony to lend much-needed support to some of America’s hardest working people, the backbone of rural dairy communities, dairy farmers.


“Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” James 5:4


For more information, or to join FWU, please check out our website www.farmwomenunited.org, check us out on Facebook, or call (570) 267-7405.

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7/16/18






Farm Women United

“Taking Back Our Food Supply, One Farm Policy Project at a Time”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tina Carlin

FWU Correspondence Liaison

570-267-7405

Please use this in your newspaper or television news cast.

(Laceyville, PA) Farm Women United (FWU), a grass-roots association organized by farm women to “Take back our food supply, one policy project at a time,” is holding a “Dairy Farm Family Crisis Hearing" on July 24, 2018, from 9 am to 5 pm, at the Lairdsville Fire Hall, 143 School Lane, Lairdsville, PA, to address the humanitarian crisis overtaking dairy farmers as federal milk prices remain below farmers' cost of production, milk markets stagnate

under virtual monopoly conditions, and the accompanying financial fallout threatens to bankrupt rural businesses and eliminate consumers' local milk supplies.   


FWU is sponsoring this public hearing because elected officials have, to date, done nothing to correct the federal dairy and "Free Trade" policies that have set the stage for this historic socio-economic disaster that threatens the local rural infrastructure that is vital for America's food security. The "Hearing" will give the afflicted dairy farmers, members of the rural business community, consumers, and other interested parties an opportunity to learn more about what is causing the ongoing low milk prices and how elected officials can solve these problems that are victimizing the dairy farming communities and consumers. 


Guest speakers, presentations, and opportunities for attendees to be heard publicly and pick up information about the low milk prices that are putting dairy farmers out of business and threatening the survival of rural communities and the consumers' local milk supply will be available throughout the "Hearing" from 9 am to 5 pm. (Lunch will be available to purchase.) 


"90% of our American dairy farmers have already been eliminated in the past 50 years because of low milk prices that are controlled by federal politicians. It is time for politicians to put our dairy farmers at the front of the line for a change and get us a fair milk price. Without immediate emergency intervention to stabilize the farmers' milk price, no dairy farmers will be left in business. Where will consumers get their milk then? These critical issues will be addressed at FWU's 'Hearing,'" said Tina Carlin, Executive Director of Farm Women United.

"The number one problem for dairy farmers is the low milk price. We are in a full-blown emergency, and no one in DC is doing anything to fix this financial disaster that is wiping out dairy farmers everywhere. Where dairy farmers go, so goes the rural economy. How can we 'Make America Great Again' when dairy farmers are being eliminated to advance corporate 'Free Trade' dairy 'Industry' special interests? FWU's 'Hearing' will be a good start to end DC's whitewashing of the blatant corruption that has overtaken all things 'dairy' in the federal government," stated Brenda Cochran, FWU President.


"I believe the absolute necessities for our survival are God, food, air, and water. Today, what God provides is being 'messed around with,' and the greedy, all too powerful, are reaping huge profits worldwide, while farmers are being eliminated, consumers' health is being affected, local to national economies are taking a huge hit, and our nation's security is being put at risk. I pray that the Farm Women United 'Dairy Farm Family Crisis Hearing' will spur the changes needed to get our nation back on the right track, because ANY NATION THAT CANNOT FEED ITSELF IS NOT FREE, and that is where we are headed," said Donna Hall, Vice President of Farm Women United.


“Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” James 5:4


For more information, or to join FWU, please check out our website www.farmwomenunited.org, check us out on Facebook, or call (570) 267-7405.


Farm Women United

Tina Carlin, Executive Director

P.O. Box 113

Laceyville, PA 18623

(570) 267-7405

###

7/3/18

Organizational Press Release

Farm Women United

“Taking Back Our Food Supply, One Farm Policy Project at a Time”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tina Carlin

FWU   Correspondence Liaison

570-267-7405

Please use this in your newspaper or television news cast.

  (Laceyville, PA) Farm Women United (FWU), a grass-roots association organized by farm women who are fed up with decades of being ignored and silenced by the powerful global, corporate politico-industry “special interests” currently controlling this nation’s agriculture, has kicked off its 2018  “Campaign to Reform US Farm and Food Policies” projects.


Recognizing that farm women bear the brunt of the stress related to trying to pay bills and provide for their families with farm income that is woefully insufficient to allow farmers to live with dignity, FWU tackles multiple aspects of the ongoing crisis engulfing rural America that matter most to farm women. Working alongside their families in the fields and in the barns and often handling the farm accounts, farm women understand how hard farmers work physically, while at the same time they are keenly aware of the severe economic injustices being perpetrated against farmers, whose voices are still being ignored, as the great American rural depression worsens. Still pressured to become ever more “efficient,” farmers are disappearing at an alarming, accelerated rate because they are coerced by government design to market their farm products below what they cost to produce on the farm, a situation that always ends with the farmers’ demise.


FWU demands that legislators, at the local, state, and federal levels, work for more effective government policies  to support a family farm system of agriculture that promotes healthy rural communities and guarantees our nation’s food security, so that consumers can access an abundant supply of nourishing, fresh, local food. FWU supports policies that put consumers and family farmers first, ahead of the global, corporate, “off-farm” business interests that have already established a food production system where food travels an average of 1500 miles before it reaches consumers. 

A major priority for the FWU 2018  “Campaign to Reform US Farm and Food Policies” will be to advocate for federal dairy policy changes on behalf of dairy farmers in the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill, with support for establishing dairy farmers' "cost of production" in the federal minimum  milk pricing formula; eliminating the approximately $2 per hundredweight "make allowance" being withdrawn from farmers' milk checks to pay dairy processors' manufacturing costs; reforming the Capper-Volstead dairy co-operatives, where market consolidation has led to widespread domination and intimidation of farmers in a national milk marketing system that is showing all the signs of coercion and intimidation that are present when monopoly and monopsony economic conditions prevail; and allowing whole milk to be offered to children in the federal school lunch program. FWU members will insist that farmers themselves be heard at listening sessions surrounding the 2018 Farm Bill to allow farmers to speak for themselves, not the hand-picked "establishment" talking heads who have advanced the global "Industry" agenda that has eliminated over 90% of this nation's family dairy farmers since it became the policy of the land . FWU will also be examining the voting records of elected officials, including members of Congress and the House and Senate Ag Committees, grading the legislators on the farm and food policies they support, releasing their findings to the public. “Years ago, many farm and dairy organizations published the voting records of legislators to keep farmers informed about the policies elected officials were supporting that affected farmers. This will now be a top priority for FWU, because too many farmers do not know what legislators are up to in Washington and in the state capitals. Elected officials are not being held accountable for passing the bad legislation behind these failed agricultural policies, and that is going to change, ” said FWU founding board member Lou Ann Parish, dairy farmer, from Adams, NY.


FWU is also pleased to be kicking off a resurrection of the “Green Ribbon for Family Farms” Campaign, where a green ribbon is worn on the outside of clothing, over the heart, to show support for family farms.


Farm Women United welcomes support and involvement from farm women across the United States, in all commodities, for both current and upcoming projects. "We must act now. We can no longer be silent. Our nation's food sovereignty depends on changing the current agricultural policies that have stripped self-determination from our farmers and consumers. A nation that cannot feed itself is not free," said FWU Vice-President Donna Hall, a retired dairy farmer and current grain and hay farmer, from Muncy, PA.  


“Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” James 5:4


For more information, or to join FWU, please check out our website www.farmwomenunited.org and check us out on Facebook.

Farm Women United


Tina Carlin, Secretary/FWU Correspondence Liaison 

P.O. Box 113

Laceyville, PA 18623

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1/17/18


House and Senate Ag Committee Questionnaire Press Release

Farm Women United

“Taking Back Our Food Supply, One Farm Policy Project at a Time”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tina Carlin

FWU   Communications Director

570-267-7405

Please use this in your newspaper or television news cast.

  (Laceyville, PA) Farm Women United (FWU), a grassroots association of farm women concerned with public food policy, announced its initial contact with all members of the United States Senate and House Ag Committees. A nine question survey related to dairy policy was sent to all members of the Ag Committees on February 14, 2018. This is round one of surveys being sent to elected officials as part of the FWU 2018 “Campaign to Reform US Farm and Food Policies”. The survey has a response deadline of March 1, 2018 and is posted on the FWU website www.farmwomenunited.org under the heading of Projects. Following the deadline, the results of the survey, including a lack of response, will be published on the FWU website. “Unlike most other farm organizations, FWU is setting response deadlines in an attempt to draw responses, and create accountability for the actions, or lack thereof, from our elected officials” said Gerald Carlin, member of the Policy Development Committee.


Farm Women United welcomes support and involvement from farm women (and men) across the United States, in all commodities. For more information, or to join FWU, please check out our website www.farmwomenunited.org and check us out on Facebook.


“Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” James 5:4


Farm Women United

Tina Carlin, Secretary/FWU Correspondence Liaison

P.O. Box 113

Laceyville, PA 18623

###

2/18/18


Letter to Governor Tom Wolf

Farm Women United

“Taking Back Our Food Supply, One Farm Policy Project at a Time”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tina Carlin

FWU Executive Director

570-267-7405

Please use this in your newspaper or television news cast.

  (Laceyville, PA) Farm Women United (FWU), a grassroots association of farm women concerned with public farm and food policy, announced today that a lengthy letter, addressing the severe and worsening economic emergency that is devastating dairy farmers, farm suppliers, and rural communities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, was faxed and mailed to Governor Tom Wolf, in Harrisburg.

FWU is pressing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to support the effort recommended by Progressive Agriculture Organization to force Congress to implement an intervention with a $20-per hundredweight (cwt.) Emergency Floor Price to be placed under milk used for manufacturing to stop the ongoing, accelerating, and unprecedented total collapse of the state's dairy farming communities due to what amounts to blatant anti-dairy-farmer federal policies. The Emergency Floor price would stay in place for the period of time that it takes to call special federal hearings to investigate the real reasons for these criminally low milk prices and to draft permanent solutions that are beneficial to Pennsylvania's dairy farmers and rural businesses.

FWU asserts that to ensure stable local farms, healthy agricultural communities, and a wholesome local food supply in the Commonwealth's own backyard, it is Pennsylvania's responsibility to step up and speak out against the federalism inherent in current dairy policy coming out of Washington, DC, that is assaulting and directly harming an integral part of our state's local rural economy.

“No longer should Pennsylvania dairy farmers be the victims of the failed federal dairy policies that have plunged us into the present dire crisis that threatens virtually every dairy farmer in the Commonwealth. I encourage Governor Wolf to acknowledge the huge negative impact low federal milk prices are having on our state's entire dairy farming infrastructure. Pennsylvania's local rural economy lost $2.5 billion in 2016 alone because of the flawed federal minimum milk pricing formula. Losses like these are devastating our state. To correct this inequity, Pennsylvania dairy farmers need the state to stand with us against a federal government that refuses to allow farmers a way to cover what it costs us to produce milk on our farms. Our own federal government is denying us what all other American businesses count on to succeed: a way to cover what it costs us to produce our milk” stated Barb Troester, FWU Board Member and dairy farmer from Union County, PA.

Pennsylvania's dairy farmers are desperate for relief from the low milk prices that have created de-facto sweat-shop working conditions on the state's dairy farms, so a timely response has been requested from Governor Wolf to support the $20/cwt. Emergency Floor Price initiative in order to give dairy farmers hope that Pennsylvania will not sit on the sidelines of this humanitarian disaster and allow one more day to pass without lending the full support of the Commonwealth to bring a just resolution to this crisis.

The full letter can be viewed at www.farmwomenunited.org under the header “Projects.”

Farm Women United welcomes support and involvement from farm women (and men) across the United States, in all commodities. For more information, or to join FWU, please check our website www.farmwomenunited.org and look for us on Facebook.

Tina Carlin, Executive Director 

Farm Women United

P.O. Box 113

Laceyville, PA 18623

“Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” James 5:4

###

3/4/18


House and Senate Ag Committee Questionnaire Failure to Reply

Farm Women United

“Taking Back Our Food Supply, One Farm Policy Project at a Time”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tina Carlin

FWU Executive Director

570-267-7405


Please use this in your newspaper or television newscast.


 (Laceyville, PA) Farm Women United (FWU), a grass-roots association organized by farm women who are fed up with decades of being ignored and silenced by the powerful global, corporate politico-industry “special interests” currently controlling this nation’s agricultural policies, has presented  all 46 members of the House Agriculture Committee and all 20 members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, with a Questionnaire (posted on www.farmwomenunited.org) to determine the Committee members' positions on 9 issues relevant to the survival of America's remaining family dairy farmers. 


FWU stipulated a March 1, 2018, deadline for completion of the time-sensitive Questionnaire because of the dire financial emergency overwhelming dairy farmers across the US.


As of May 10, 2018, no Agriculture Committee members have answered this vital Questionnaire even though it was delivered to them through several different channels to be sure they received it in time. FWU intended to grade the responses from “A through F,” but, sadly, virtually all received an “F-” because no one made any effort whatsoever to answer the 9 questions. One Democrat member of the Senate Ag Committee and one Democrat member of the House Ag Committee each received an “F” because the respective aide from each office was courteous enough to make a good faith effort to contact FWU to acknowledge receipt of the emergency Questionnaire but still did not submit completed Questionnaires by the deadline. So, they, too, in the long run, failed the citizens they are supposed to represent, the American dairy farmers.


The FWU Questionnaire focuses on many of the federal policies causing the current socio-economic disaster on American dairy farms and highlights the absolute necessity for Congressional Ag Committee members to safeguard America's food supply by immediately taking all necessary corrective policy actions to address the inequities destabilizing family dairy farmers. 


“Having 100% of the Senate and House Ag Committees blow off this Questionnaire is shocking, but it should not come as a surprise considering the low approval rating Congress has from the American people. Congress is serving only the powerful "Dairy Industry" special interests from the 'Free Trade' lobby,” said retired dairy farmer and FWU Vice-President, Donna Hall, from Muncy, PA. 


“Ignoring the FWU Questionnaire demonstrates blatant dereliction of duty by powerful Congressional Ag Committee members who have failed to act in time to offer meaningful assistance to family dairy farmers who face a bleak spring with many not having enough money to plant crops. These politicians do not care about the dairy farmers or the nation’s sovereign food supply,” said Barb Troester, Union County, PA dairy farmer, and FWU Board Member.


“This country's dairy farmers are virtually disenfranchised,  shut out of the closed-door political process that determines what is contained in the 5-year federal 'Farm' Bills where anti-dairy farmer policies are implemented," said Lou Ann Parish, NY dairy farmer and FWU Board Member. ”Dairy farmers are so depressed by this bi-partisan political incompetence, they are facing an elevated risk of suicide. The Ag Committees bear significant responsibility for the despair driving desperate dairy farmers to lose hope.”


Any Member of the Senate or House Ag Committee who would like to change his/her grading, can contact FWU and submit the completed Questionnaire. Farm Women United is a fair and reasonable organization and will be more than willing to update the Committee Member's grade based on the answers. 


What FWU will not tolerate is silence from elected officials who have created the abuses being suffered by American family dairy farmers and their rural communities and now refuse to stand in the light and support long over-due dairy policy reforms.

For more information, or to join FWU, please check out our website www.farmwomenunited.org and check us out on Facebook. 


Farm Women United

Tina Carlin, Executive Director

P.O. Box 113

Laceyville, PA 18623

(570) 267-7405

“Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” James 5:4

###


3/11/18

Farm Bill Failure to Pass in House of Representitives

Farm Women United

“Taking Back Our Food Supply, One Farm Policy Project at a Time”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tina Carlin

FWU Executive Director

570-267-7405

Please use this in your newspaper or television news cast.


  (Laceyville, PA) Farm Women United (FWU), a grass-roots association organized by farm women fed up with decades of being ignored and silenced by the powerful global, corporate politico-industry “special interests” currently controlling this nation’s agricultural policies, has expressed satisfaction with the May 18, 2018, defeat of HR 2, the House of Representatives version of the Farm Bill.


The Farm Bill was completely inconsistent with 7 U.S. Code 2266, “Congress reaffirms the historical policy of the United States to foster and encourage the family farm system of agriculture in this country. Congress believes that the maintenance of the family farm system of agriculture is essential to the social well-being of the Nation and the competitive production of adequate supplies of food and fiber. Congress further believes that any significant expansion of nonfamily owned large-scale corporate farming enterprises will be detrimental to the national welfare. It is neither the policy nor the intent of Congress that agricultural and agriculture-related programs be administered exclusively for family farm operations, but it is the policy and the express intent of Congress that no such program be administered in a manner that will place the family farm operation at an unfair economic disadvantage.”


While grateful that the Freedom Caucus joined the Democrats and voted “NO” on the Farm Bill, Farm Women United questions their motivation for doing so. “There was nothing in the House Farm Bill that helps dairy farmers, and not one politician from either party addressed that injustice. In fact, each successive five-year Farm Bill deepens the dairy farm crisis with no ability for the afflicted dairy farmers to seek redress of wrongs. These ‘Farm’ Bills being passed during this era of global ‘Free Trade’ are actually anti-dairy farmer,” said Pennsylvania dairy farmer and FWU President Brenda Cochran.


As for conservative lawmakers who voted for the Farm Bill, some should have known better. “How can conservative, self-proclaimed pro-life ‘family values’ politicians, who claim to uphold the Constitution, continue to support Farm Bills that are beholden to immoral and destructive policies that tear away private property rights, and essentially enslave a whole class of American family farmers while risking national security,” said Gerald Carlin Chairman of FWU Policy Development.


FWU is hopeful that this fortuitous setback for the Farm Bill will prompt more serious dialogue on finally fixing America’s broken rural communities, including correcting chronically low farm milk prices, rather than just perpetuating them.


For more information, or to join FWU, please check out our website www.farmwomenunited.org and check us out on Facebook.


“Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” James 5:4


Farm Women United

Tina Carlin, Executive Director

P.O. Box 113

Laceyville, PA 18623

(570) 267-7405

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5/20/18