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Stand-by supply management plan promoted by ProAg

MESHOPPEN, Pa. -- Some officials of the Progressive Agriculture Organization (Pro-Ag) were in Washington D.C. last week promoting a standby supply management program for dairy farmers as an alternative to the contestable program that is now being considered by some members of Congress.

Arden Tewksbury, manager of Pro-Ag, suggested that a standby program would be more acceptable by many dairy farmers. Basically the standby program would not tell any dairy farmer how much milk he could produce. However, if the Secretary of Agriculture determines (after considering unneeded imports) there was an excess amount of milk being produced, he would have the authority to lower the value on excess milk that was being produced.

All other milk would contain the full value. The funds collected from the lower value milk would be used to purchase manufactured milk products which would then be distributed to the needy folks across the USA.

Tewksbury also strongly recommended that Congress passes the provision in the Senate version of the Farm Bill that strongly recommends the Secretary of Agriculture conduct milk hearings to listen to alternative methods in determining the value of milk at the dairy farm. He explained to the authorities he met with that dairy farmers are not looking to become millionaires; they just want a price out of the marketplace which would give the average dairy farmer a chance to cover his costs, plus.

If Congress wants to revitalize many sectors of the rural economy across the United States, the best way would be to accept Pro-Ag’s suggestions, according to Dennis Boyanowski from Laceyville, Pa., who is president of Pro-Ag. Pro-Ag claims these two proposals would not cost the government any funds and certainly the program would not gouge consumers in the marketplace.