The following three scenarios need to be considered by local officials before they turn the other cheek at the crisis situation now facing our farmers.
Recently a dairy farmer from West Winfield received a scanty $143 for a milk check because their income had been garnished for mortgage and machinery payments.
Another report was told of how one farmer had a break down, and when his cows came to be tested, the tester found them locked up, unfed. The farmer was sitting in his house just staring at the wall.
In Little Falls, a farm that had been in business for 100 years could not get financing for spring crop work, so they loaded up the cows and left.
Last year, milk prices for dairy farmers were around $22 per 100 gallons. Today they are below $14 per 100.
Farmers are calling this an emergency situation, and are seeking support from their officials. Officials they voted for and are now working to represent the people. Next Tuesday, there will be an emergency meeting at the Federated Church in West Winfield to discuss legislation that has been stalled, ignored and all but forgotten, that would provide relief for farmers. It would require they be paid at least their production costs.
Farming is one of the most noble professions left on earth, and yet it is a dying trade. Long hours, hard work, little or no vacation time, and little pay make it less and less unattractive in a world where money means everything. To have the meager compensation cut away even further can be devastating.
To have your public officials not do a thing about it is sad. The plight of the farmer has long been recognized. And even with the public assistance and aid offered, there is still so much more that needs to be done.
Feeding the world is not a job for the weak and weary, or the lazy or the unmotivated. It is perhaps the most important profession in existence and yet farmers are constantly struggling to stay alive.
Where is the relief? Where is their compensation? The consumers donít see a relief in prices when the payments are reduced. So who gets what the farmer is not getting and what the consumer is not getting?
The bill S-1722 before Congress, which would amend the Agricultural Adjustment Act to require that the price of milk be determined by using the national average cost of production will help protect the farmer.
So this coming Tuesday, March 10, let us hope our public officials are doing what we elected them to do, representing the people in the Federated Church in West Winfield.