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New Dairy Bill Ready To Go

The new version of the Specter-Casey Dairy Bill is ready to go. This time, the proposed Bill will be identified as “The Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act of 2009.” The proposed bill has been re-written with a few changes, and both Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Senator Robert P. Casey (D-PA) are ready to introduce the proposed bill once Congress reconvenes.

The major change will be that the total economic costs on the dairy farms will determine the value of manufactured milk. Again, all manufactured milk will be classified as Class II milk. As in the original bill, S-1722, the values of Class I milk will be determined by adding the existing Class I differential in each Federal or state market to the Class II price. For instance, in Federal Order #1, if the Class II price were $21.00 per cwt, then adding the Order #1 Class I differential of $3.25 per cwt would establish a Class I price of $24.25 per cwt. The price paid to dairy farmers would be slightly over $22.00 per cwt.

Please remember that the Class II price will be the same in all federal orders, as it presently is. However, the new Specter-Casey Bill calls for all state orders to use the same Class II price as the federal orders use. This definitely includes California.

Some people will ask why the price of raw milk is determined by the dairy farmers’ costs. I would ask the question, “Why not?” Since 1981, dairy farmers have been subjected to several unorthodox pricing formulas that created severe roller coaster rides for the dairy farmers’ milk prices. These prices helped force thousands of dairy farmers out of business. Current dairy farmers certainly want a new pricing formula based on the national average cost of production.

The responsibility of having the new dairy bill passed by Congress now rests in the hands of dairy farmers. All dairy farmers must call their local Congressman as well as their US Senators and urge them to support the new Specter-Casey Dairy Bill.

Please understand that this proposed bill will never make it unless dairy farmers across the United States throw their weight behind it.

PRO AG can be reached at 570-833-5776.


Arden Tewksbury, Manager, Pro Ag

Rural Roads Safety Week, April 19-25

The Susquehanna County Farm Bureau is encouraging everyone to travel safely on our rural roads. With spring’s arrival, warmer temperatures and longer days, farmers will be working their fields and preparing to plant their crops.

Motorists must remain alert for large and often slow moving equipment. Avoid rushing and allow plenty of time to reach your destination safely.

Consider this - if you are driving 55 miles per hour and come upon a tractor moving 15 miles per hour, it only takes five seconds to close a gap the length of a football field between you and the tractor. It only takes six minutes, the equivalent of waiting at two red lights, to slow down to 20 miles per hour when following a tractor for two miles.

Janice Webster, S.C.F.B. Local Affairs, offers this advice: don’t rush; pass with care; be patient; remain visible; utilize/take notice of SMV emblem, the orange triangular slow moving vehicle emblem, warning drivers of a slow moving vehicle; yield to wide vehicles.

Caution, courtesy and special attention to safety tips can make a critical difference in ensuring safe driving conditions on rural roads. PennDOT says speeding is one of the biggest factors in fatalities and other accidents on rural roads.

By working together, traveling on our rural roads can be safer for the motorist and the farmer.


Donna Williams

Nicholson, PA

Happenstance Gets Serious

In front of a witness, and deliberately so, I said the following to her face; “If ever you had a political thought in your head, it died of loneliness.” And she chuckled. With heart large enough to tolerate a little good-natured ribbing, she’s a fine sport.

This exercise in silliness began with my asking her for a favor. She was nice enough to agree to be first in signing my political petition. Here’s where happenstance gets serious. In essence, my petition deals with the future. And she’s now carrying a hostage to the future. Merely as imagery, rich in connotation, her signing my petition has to pack an emotional wallop.

My petition starts off with a reference to this nation’s Constitution, making mention of its First Amendment. The primary cause for that is my awareness of just how much the Second Amendment matters to people in general, here in deep Susquehanna. If the Second Amendment matters so much, so it must seem, then surely the First Amendment must also matter. That particular reference should affirm that my petition deserves some thought.

In the next paragraph, the Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary is urged to conduct an investigation into misgoverance. The way I’m figuring it, just asking our nation’s Congress to do such a thing would come across as... well... “scatter shot.” To be effective, my petition or any other petition for that matter, requires focus, laser pinpoint targeting, as it were. Therefore, Representative John Conyers, Jr., who chairs that committee, is being specifically asked to conduct that investigation into misgoverance.

In this instance, the very first person, who should be called to appear and testify under oath, is former American president William Jefferson Clinton. For this reason, he certainly abetted, if not initiated, that misgoverance by signing into law two pieces of legislation. Under colour of law, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and that Commodities Futures Modernization Act permitted the ruinous speculation that precipitated in this nation’s current financial meltdown.

For now and well into the foreseeable future, many allegedly knowledgeable “personalities” will, via various cable news channels, be reporting oodles of bad news. Viewers will be treated to stories, touching on the financial ruin of millions of Americans,’ the crippling of their economy, and the blighting of their one reasonable hopes for their children’s future.

By conducting an investigation into misgoverence, Representative Conyers will be perforating an especially grievous fallacy. That fallacy being, leaving the Oval Office means deliverance from the accountability that arrives with that proverbial buck, which in turn stops atop the president’s desk. Nothing should be further from the truth.

By no means, was former president Clinton alone in this misgoverance. Even more of the blame for this economic fiasco should be laid at the feet of former senator Phil Gramm. It should be noted that his name is attached to one of the aforementioned pieces of legislation. And that did not come about by accident. It’s on record that former senator Gramm labored mightily in securing the passage of that and the other piece of legislation then president Clinton signed into law.

With regard to the former senator, my petition urges Representative Conyers to ask him about whether and how he expected to be rewarded, after his stint in this nation’s Senate. Whatever answer, thus elicited, should prove downright interesting, and most likely enlightening. Just as co-conspirator Clinton is supposed to appear and testify under oath, the same should be expected of the former Texas senator. By calling upon both, so it is supposed, Representative Conyers will avoid any taint of self-serving partisan opportunism.

The text of my petition abjures any attempt to punish. Rather, my petition focuses on the future, by referring to this axiom: history is prologue. The hope is expressed that the investigation will prove more than mere prologue. It should also serve as guidance for and admonition to those future presidents and legislators.

The above pretty much covers the gist of the main text of my petition.

Whatever happens, at the end of April, even in my initials are the only ones on that petition, it shall be sent to Representative John Conyers, Jr. at his office in Detroit: 669 Federal Bldg, 231 West Lafayette, zip 48226.


Alexander Stella

Susquehanna, PA

Ambulance Drive Underway

The annual Ambulance Fund Drive is underway. Every household in the coverage area should receive a donation request. The fund drive is very important to the operation of the Ambulance Service, as we do not receive any tax dollars to support the Ambulance Service. We rely on the fund drive donations and what money we receive from some insurance company’s that are billed for ambulance service to finance the ambulance operations.

As a reminder, the fund drive has replaced the old “Ambulance Club Membership.” When you contribute to the fund drive you receive the same benefits as provided in the old membership club. It is more important this year than ever that the community support the ambulance fund drive given the unprecedented cost increase in operating the ambulance.

If you have not received a fund drive request please contact the Susquehanna Fire Dept Ambulance, PO BX 175 Susquehanna, Pa. 18847 or call 853-3861


Susquehanna Fire Dept. Ambulance

A Word On Tea Parties

I don't know if there were any of those silly Tea Parties in the immediate area, but there were enough in Northeastern PA. and the nation to warrant comment.

These phonies didn't utter a peep when Bush was running up record deficits. But now that there's a Democrat in charge, they're suddenly worried about burdening their children with debt? Too late, folks!

What's really wrong is that Bush had no good reason to expand the deficit. He did it merely to pay off the rich, the GOP's clientele and the same folks who ruined our economy now. Obama's spending is to keep the economy from collapsing entirely. It's too bad he has to do this, but had the economy gone into another Great Depression, we'd all have something to complain about.

It's not the money people are whining about now. It's their ill-informed notions about Democratic policies. They need to stop letting themselves be brainwashed by faux news and junkie rush. The banks will pay back their loans, and the tax burden will be placed on the rich, where it belongs.

Stephen Van Eck

Rushville, PA


I am truly alarmed by what is now happening to our dairy farmers. They have an option to kill off cows as a way to eliminate the so called surplus of milk and dairy products. Hello, isn't there anyone out there who will please call them and ask them to change their minds.

This is set up by the co-ops and is funded by the farmers, every cent. Wow.

Years ago the industry tried to do the same thing and they called it a buy out; several local dairies sold their cows to slaughter as away to get out of the milk business.

The cows were branded on their faces and sent directly to slaughter. In this day and age, humans should learn to control the supply of milk without making the animal pay the ultimate price. There are many ways to control the amount of milk in America; the farmers have many choices.

My opinion is not to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

There are other countries whose people could use these production cows. If the cows get slaughtered here in America, we will or should have a glut of meat and the price in the stores should come down. I am so against this type of supply management I could spit.

Other countries manage their supply of milk and respect the world’s food supplier, the cow. This is a lose-lose situation because the dairy farmer has to pay for this, this year and pay a higher price for calves next year. Plus all that good blood runs away.


Peter A. Seman

Thompson, PA

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. 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.

Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

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