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OPINION  Dairy farmers are dedicated people who have a job seven days a week for 52 weeks. They observe the holidays knowing those cows must be milked twice a day, some cases three times a day. They provide a nutritious wholesome drink called “whole milk,” which was taken out of schools without too much trouble. Now putting it back in schools is a real problem. Without whole milk children are missing nutrients they need for proper growth and development.

Dairy farmers have been struggling with unfair prices at the farm for years. Then the coronavirus hit and prices hit rock bottom – $10 to $12 per hundredweight. One hundredweight of milk equals 11.63 gallons.

The pricing formula set by the Federal government, supported by co-ops, doesn’t include the farmer’s cost of production. The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that the average cost of production is $22 to $23 per hundredweight. By fixing the formula and removing the corruption in the system, dairy farmers would not need all the government programs – taxpayer money.

The Progressive Agriculture Organization under the leadership of Arden Tewksbury, a retired dairy farmer, has been working for years to get a fair price for the dairy producer. If anyone or any organization has questions, concerns or would like to support that endeavor, call 570-833-5776. We strongly urge everyone to support the Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act – the Specter-Casey bill. Contact local officials; county commissioners, etc. as soon as possible.

Barb Troester, Union County, Pennsylvania