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Issue Home May 25, 2004 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Farmers Deserve The Increase

Since 1981, dairy farmers have been anxiously waiting for a realistic price for milk. Finally, in April, 2004, prices started to move up and the prices escalated considerably more for May’s production. Various reasons have been given by many people for the spike in milk prices. The answer is simple - whenever the supply of any product tightens, the end result usually means higher prices. There may be variable reasons why the supply tightens, but, the end result is usually the same.

On April 1, 1981, the support price on manufactured milk prices was supposed to be adjusted. The adjustment would have increased prices to dairy farmers. However, Congress passed a law, signed by President Ronald Reagan which prevented the April 1 adjustment and any further upward adjustment. However, since April 1, 1981, the US Congress has adjusted the price "downward" many times.

In Pennsylvania, we have the PA Milk Marketing Board. The board has many worthwhile and important responsibilities to the diary industry. One of their responsibilities is to establish the minimum retail price of milk in stores. This is a minimum, not a maximum. To arrive at the minimum price, the board takes into account the total cost a milk bottler has to run his plant (the bottlers must prove to the board what their total costs are). When the board determines the minimum value of milk in a store, they also take into account what the bottler pays the dairy farmer for his milk. The board takes all these costs into account and then they establish the minimum price for the stores.

The milk bottler’s costs cannot alter the price of milk in a store without a hearing. However, on the first day of every month, the board looks at the Class I Price that is paid to dairy farmers and makes adjustments on the minimum price.

The board does not establish minimum or maximum prices for other dairy products (butter, cheese, etc.).

The higher prices that consumers pay for their milk starting in May will not trickle down to dairy farmers until June 18. The main thing for consumers to remember is the milk prices do not start at the farm. Even though dairy farmers are experiencing accelerated costs, these costs are not the reason for higher prices.

Pro Ag and some other organizations across the country have proposals that would price milk on the dairy farmer’s costs of production. These proposals would take the roller coaster ride out of milk prices, return a fair price to the dairy farmers, and be affordable to consumers. We need the consumers’ (your) help in order to obtain a new milk pricing formula, by contacting local Congressmen.


Arden Tewksbury

Meshoppen, PA

A Community Resource

May is the month for the entire nation to give special recognition to older adults in their communities. This year’s Older Americans Month theme, "Aging Well, Living Well," was selected to celebrate and recognize older Americans who are living longer, healthier, and more productive lives.

Programs established under the Older Americans Act, enacted in 1965, have been the foundation of community-based services which are evolving to meet the needs of our increasing older population. A network of 900 Area Agencies on Aging nationwide strive to promote the principle of the Older Americans Act that older citizens are entitled to spend their retirement years in good health, living with independence and dignity.

Locally, the B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging, with our office located in Montrose helps older citizens and their families in Susquehanna County in a variety of different circumstances and needs. But the Area Agency on Aging is no longer just a "broker" of services like home-delivered meals and personal care - it is a community resource for members of our senior community of all income levels and for their families, offering a wealth of information on topics of interest to seniors, health and wellness programs, educational programs and guidance about long-term care options.

On behalf of the B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging, I would like to thank the Susquehanna County Transcript, members of community groups, churches, and individuals in Susquehanna County who are actively helping us to get the word out about the existence of the Area Agency on Aging.

We also thank the many individuals and church groups who have stepped in to help seniors when the demand for some services exceeds the resources available for a service to be provided immediately. We also wish to recognize many of these same individuals and all caregivers for their ongoing help to older citizens in our area.

We ask for your continued assistance in reaching out to older citizens to let them know about the Area Agency on Aging as a community resource. We encourage older citizens to contact our Montrose office at (570) 278–3751 or (800) 634–3746 for more information about our agency.

We salute all members of our senior community for their valuable contributions to their families and our communities, whatever their current health status or wherever they make their home.


Bill Farley

Executive Director

In Your Best Interest

I’d like to take a moment to ask the residents and business owners of Thompson Borough for their help. For those of you who don’t know, every first Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. there is a borough council meeting at the fire house. At these meetings decisions are made and ordinances are passed that affect your quality of life. Sometimes these ordinances and decisions are passed with a cursory reading or short conversation on the topic. Many of these actions taken are too important to be made with little or no public input or comment, with literally only minutes being taken to weigh the effect on the residents and local economy.

I have heard it said, that since few ever come to a meeting it can be inferred that what we do must be OK with the majority. Based on the complaints I hear outside of these meetings, I don’t subscribe to this theory. I believe that residents feel disfranchised enough to complain about decisions that are made, but not enough to come to a meeting and make their opinion, pro or con known.

Do not be fooled into thinking you’re just one person, and your opinion doesn’t matter. I have seen public opinion sway a decision more than once. I have said and personally heard other council members say, they wish there was more public input into decision making. Without this public input form of check and balance, your council is blindly left to make decisions it feels are in your best interests.

The future is changing. There are decisions on the table right now concerning the state’s uniform construction code, and the forming of a new multi-municipal regional planning committee (ESCP). Will decisions on either of these topics affect your life, property, or business?

I realize that sometimes these meetings are as exciting as watching paint dry, but please, I respectfully ask you to make it your business to know what goes on at these meetings. Be a positive, proactive part of your local government, instead of the all too often reactive victim of it. Hope to see you at the next meeting.


Councilman Allen R. Lloyd

Thompson Borough Council

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dear Allen, this is good advice for anyone, living anywhere in rural Pennsylvania right now. Thanks for your input.

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