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Look For Our Father's Day Special In The June 16th Issue Of The County Transcript

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Letters to the Editor Policy

Exciting Year As Dairy Princess

In May of 2003, I was crowned Susquehanna County’s Dairy Princess. Excited, I jumped into starting promotions in the next couple of weeks. Every since I was a little kid I was exposed to seeing the Dairy Princess. She would come to the school and the fair, and I would always think it would be cool to be the Dairy Princess when I grew up because you get to wear a crown. Little did I know then, that there would be so much more to being a Princess. In the past I have been a Dairy Maid and a Dairy Ambassador for two years, but not until this year when I was Princess did I really figure out why I was doing it. No, it wasn’t because I got to wear a crown. It was because I saw how little the public knew about the farming industry and what our local dairy farmers do. While watching my father and many other dairy farmers struggle because of milk prices, I felt that if I would help them, just a tiny bit somehow I would feel like I made a difference in a statewide crisis. I then decided that I was going to dedicate my whole year to helping out the local farmers to the best of my ability.

When first starting as the Dairy Princess I was still nervous to talk in front of large crowds and now I’m able to speak in front of hundreds like I was talking to one person. I have learned so much this past year and gained so much from being Dairy Princess it is hard to put into words. I have made many friends throughout my reign. Being able to meet so many people has been great and I cherish every friendship I have gained. I have done many different kinds of promotions such as spotlighting farms, visiting schools and nursing homes, have gone to dinners, met the State Senators, State Representatives, County Commissioners, Secretary of Agriculture and many other people. I have handed out ribbons at dairy shows, served a giant ice cream sundae, crowned a Dairy King and Queen for farming the longest, written to a soldier and former Dairy Princess in Iraq, been on TV and radio and much more. Each promotion has left me with a different memory that will last a lifetime.

I would like to thank my school for letting me go to the different classrooms and also hold an assembly for the 7th and 8th grade students so they could learn about dairy farming. I would also like to say a special thank you to every farm I spotlighted. The dairy farmers at each of these farms took time out of their busy schedules to sit and answer questions I had, tell me a different story about their farm, give me a tour and pose for a picture. Without the help of these farmers I would not have been able to make the public aware of how dairy farms differ in our County, and I barely made a stepping stone on how many farms there are.

I would also like to thank my girls, Ashley, Amanda, Abbey, Alyssa, Lydia, Ashley, Karin and Karley. You girls have helped me so much this year. I am so proud of what you have accomplished. One day you will all make great Princesses. To the committee, you have all been very helpful to me, I will forever remember how you have helped me. To all the dairy farmers, thank you for everything you do. You have given me the drive I needed to have a great year.

To my father, what you do means the world to me. You are the strongest person I know, working long hours, seven days a week, putting up with all eight of us kids, running a farm and being there whenever I needed you. Thank you! I love you, Dad!

To my mother, you have helped me so much this year, whether it was helping me with a promotion, writing a speech or looking over a news article to tell me if it sounded okay. You helped me put my scrapbook together, helping me be creative with it; you have been there. You have given me the confidence and strength to do what I have done. I would not have asked for a better mother and best friend. I love you!

I would like to thank everyone that has been there throughout my reign. You are the people that helped me to succeed. On that note, I bid farewell and wish next year’s Dairy Princess, Amanda Zembrzycki the "best of luck in her year to come."


Shana Mack

Susquehanna County Dairy Princess


Formula Baffles Farmers, Consumers

Consumers were surprised when they went to the stores on May 1 to learn that milk prices had climbed 55 cents per gallon over April prices (NE PA). The PA Milk Marketing Board announces the adjusted prices to become effective on the first day of each month. I’ve talked to hundreds of consumers since May 1. While these consumers are concerned regarding the spike in milk prices, their concerns are put to rest when they find out that the increase is going to the local dairy farmers. The full benefit of the increase in prices will not be realized by dairy farmers until around June 18.

There are two things for consumers to realize:

1. No federal or state agency established higher milk prices on May 1 because of economic or weather conditions on the dairy farmers.

2. In January, 2000, the USDA realigned the Federal Milk Marketing Orders (under the direction of the US Congress) and started to use a new pricing formula to establish the value of milk (which we wholeheartedly disagree with). The formula that established higher prices on May 1, 2004 is the identical formula that drove milk prices down (to dairy farmers) to the 1978 era, in 2003.

As surprised as consumers were on May 1, their surprise doesn’t come close to matching the disbelief, bewilderment, and astonishment that dairy farmers experienced on May 18 when they opened their milk check and found what appeared to be a substantial amount of money taken out of their milk checks (thousands of dollars in many cases).

Since the implementation of the new pricing formula on January 1, 2004, local dairy farmers have been on what is called component pricing. This means the dairy farmer is paid a certain price for the protein value of his milk, a certain price for the fat content of his milk, and a certain price for other solids in the milk. The value of the components are the same for each farmer, but, the amount of solids and fat in milk varies from one farm to another.

The value of fat and protein in milk does not really reflect the value of milk that is used as Class I milk (bottled milk).

The dairy farmer receives the remainder of the total value of milk through what is referred to as producer price differential (P.P.D.) and basically comes from the fluid sales (Class I).

Since the new pricing formula was instituted, the Class I (bottled milk) price has been the highest class price except April, 2004. The main question is, "Did all the dairy farmers get their fair share of the total value of the milk in the Federal Order?" It appears they did. I didn’t say the total value of the pool was high enough, I’m just saying we got our share.

For May’s deliveries, the P.P.D. should change dramatically and the local dairy farmer’s statistical price should be around $20.00 per cwt.

Soon to come: Shame on those that De-Pool Producers.


Arden Tewksbury

Meshoppen, PA


Just Wondering?

I listen to TV, and even pay attention to it a little. I see how the government works, and it seems to work in the "flavor favor" of big business. They have our American citizens over in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting. What, truthfully, are they fighting for? Freedom? Bush’s daddy? Or, are they just fighting for the Mexicans to come take our jobs?

Is it just because all the jobs are moving overseas? Who are we kidding? Let the politicians put a uniform on and go fight. Let "them" lose their job and try to find a new one. Then again, at their wages the could retire, any time.

It is the American people getting the shaft, and the government does nothing wrong.

Oh, silly me, I forgot, it is "We The People."


Marvin Glover

Oakland, PA


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Letters To The Editor MUST BE SIGNED. They MUST INCLUDE a phone number for "daytime" contact. Letters MUST BE CONFIRMED VERBALLY with the author, before printing. At that time you may request to withhold your name. Letters should be as concise as possible, to keep both Readers' and Editors' interest alike. Your opinions are important to us, but you must follow these guidelines to help assure their publishing.

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