‘Dairy crisis’ to continue in 2018

Hello and welcome to the March issue of the Farm Bureau report. Spring is on its way!

Our annual Rural Road Safety Assembly will be held on April 19that the Joel and Sara Mills Farm near Thompsontown. High school students from Juniata, East Juniata and Juniata Mennonite will learn about the importance of safety on the road where farm equipment is concerned.

This year’s Growing Stronger Leaders Conference, formerly known as Ladies Day Out, for our region and several other regions across the state will be held Wednesday, June 13 that Richfield Life Ministries Church from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. This year’s theme is “Think Safe, Be Safe.” Details are still being planned but topics will include information on what to do in the event of a crisis on the farm and a Painting Party by Judy Mummau. Be on the lookout for more details in the coming weeks. This year is Juniata County’s turn to host, so we’re hoping for a great turnout of attendees from Juniata County — both male and female.

By now I’m sure you’ve all been hearing about the “dairy crisis,” if you’re not experiencing it first-hand. The following is an excerpt from a statement given by the PA Farm Bureau:

“Dairy farmers across Pennsylvania are facing financial challenges that are threatening their ability to stay in business. A massive oversupply of milk has substantially reduced the price farmers receive for the milk they produce.

And while dairy farmers have faced tough times in the past, this downward spiral appears to be more severe, because milk prices have been depressed for the past three years and no one is anticipating any immediate relief in 2018.

Some milk buyers have cut off dairy farmers, telling them they need to find another company to market their milk. The problem is no one wants their milk. Even farmer-owned cooperatives have been unable to find a market for milk. One farmer-owned milk Co-Op is even offering an incentive for farmers to get out of the business now.

Some people living in areas where there are a lot of dairy farms have asked if there is anything they can do to help. The most helpful thing they can do right away is to buy more milk and other dairy products and to encourage family and friends to do the same. It is even more helpful if consumers purchase dairy items that are known to be produced locally or regionally.

In many areas of the state, dairy farms are an important part of the fabric of the community. Besides providing fresh wholesome milk, they contribute $6 billion in revenue to the state and support more than 60,000 jobs essential to rural communities.

In the months ahead, there may be more opportunities to help dairy farmers, such as supporting the return of low-fat chocolate milk to schools and backing public policies that provide relief for milk producers during extended periods of low prices.

There is no silver bullet to resolve the dairy crisis in Pennsylvania, but for now, simply purchasing more dairy products can make a difference.”

Did you know?

Milk contains nine essential nutrients and vitamins that boost human health. The National Dairy Council says that one, 8-ounce glass of milk provides the same amount of vitamin D a person would receive if they ate 3.5 ounces of cooked salmon, and as much calcium as if they consumed 2 ™ cups of broccoli. So drink up!

Thanks for reading, and, until next, remember to thank a farmer — and buy more milk and other dairy products!