WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Call your Congressperson, two Senators, The Secretary of Agriculture, and President Trump and ask them to:
1.)Support a $20 per hundredweight (cwt.) Emergency Floor Price under all milk used to manufacture dairy products. This will stop dairy farmers’ milk price losses, reduce rising suicide risks, and relieve stress on rural communities endangered by low milk prices.
2.)Convene EMERGENCY federal and state hearings and investigations to determine the systemic causes and long-term remedies for low farm milk prices. For over 5 years, since passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, state and federal Agriculture Committees, the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and members of Congress have failed to address low milk prices. The integrity of the hearing process must be protected to guarantee that all farmers who testify have assurance that they will not face reprisals from their milk handlers.
Such hearings and investigations must cover these areas:
- Capper-Volstead Dairy Cooperatives, Anti-Trust violations, and market concentration
- Federal Milk Marketing Orders (FMMOs): milk pricing formula, milk class definition, tracking milk movement
- Deductions from milk checks: processor “make allowances” often $2.50 per cwt., advertising, fuel surcharges, “market adjustment fees,” etc.
- Dairy Checkoff Program: abuse of dairy farmers, violation of Constitutional rights
- Milk Protein Concentrate (MPC): distortion of farm milk production, yield extension, and consumer prices
- Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) altered definition of “milk”
- Impact of “Free Trade” on family farmers and consumer food choices
- Accurate labeling of all milk and dairy products to enable consumers to make informed food choices
- Bring full-fat whole milk back to the School Lunch Program.
Pat Roberts (R) KS Chairman of the Senate Ag Committee
109 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Collin Peterson (D) MN Chairman House Ag Committee
2204 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
If you do not have the phone number for your Senator, call the following phone number and tell them the state that you are calling from. They will connect you with your Senator
Senate Switchboard (202) 224-3121
Call the following number for the House of Representative's Switchboard to be connected to your Representative.
House of Representatives Switchboard (202) 225-3121
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
Tell Sonny Hotline (877) 508-8364
United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500
(202) 456-1414 (Switchboard)
(202) 456-1111 (Comments)
Understand Where Your Milk Comes From
Understand Where Your Milk Comes From
By Gerald and Tina Carlin
If you are like us, we try to buy local as much as possible. We, as consumers, are being deceived when visiting the dairy case in our local supermarket.
Choosepadairy.com states that there are three ways that you can tell if your milk was predominately produced, bottled, and sold in PA. The first way is to look for the PA Preferred logo on your container. This label guarantees that your milk is truly from Pennsylvania farms.
The second way is to check for the plant number that begins with 42 followed by a couple more numbers. Those numbers will tell you what specific plant bottled that milk for delivery to your store. This is supposed to mean that the milk is predominately from PA farms. That is not always the truth. I know for a fact that there are some PA milk plants that process milk from other states with little or no PA milk going into that plant. This makes it hard to know if you are truly supporting PA dairy farmers.
The third way is to buy raw milk which many believe is more nutritious and better for you. To find a licensed farm that sells raw milk check out the following link: https://www.realmilk.com/real-milk-finder/pennsylvania/#pa
We need truth in labeling. The dairy labeling issue goes much deeper than bottled milk. For many years Milk Protein Concentrate (MPC) has been used to extend cheese yields, creating the illusion that there is an oversupply of milk, keeping the farm milk price low. Perhaps you have noticed a difference in the characteristics and quality of cheese. MPC may be the reason, but it may not appear on the label, since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a policy of “exercising discretionary enforcement” regarding Standards of Identity and labeling.
Of greater concern, is the introduction of lab produced milk and meat which is now, or soon will be on the market. Scientists have figured out a way to grow “milk” and “meat” in a laboratory from genetic material sourced from animals and grown with plant-based material. There is also talk of technology leading to 3D printing of animal proteins. All of this is particularly troubling given FDA’s history of “exercising discretionary enforcement.” Will we know if these fake products are blended in to the traditional products that we recognize?
Our family are former dairy farmers. We got out of the dairy business because our children grew up and wanted lives of their own off of the farm. We really can’t blame them. Right now, our farmers are facing the worst economic and mental health crisis ever, because they are not being paid enough for the product that they produce, even as technology continues to extend yields and maintain the illusion of oversupply.
Consumers just assume that they are supporting local when buying a local brand of milk. Do some research and learn just exactly where your milk and meat are coming from. Better yet, the best way to know that you are buying local is to visit a local farmers market and get to know the farmer that you are buying from. There are several farmers markets in every county. Ask that farmer about their growing practices. Are all of the products that they sell raised on their farm? Is it genetically modified in any way?
If you would like to get involved with helping to fight for fair prices for our farmers, please visit www.farmwomenunited.org and help save our family farms.