USDA dairy policy is destroying the family farm
Meshoppen, Pa.: The National Federal Milk Marketing Order Pricing Formula Hearing in Carmel, Ind., commenced on Aug. 23. If the goal of the federal government and the USDA, in particular, is to destroy the family dairy farm, U.S. dairy policy should continue on its current course, as it has been very effective in doing so.
The number of dairy farms has declined by 90% since 1980. The decline continues, taking with it dairy support businesses that are no longer viable in many areas since there are too few farms to serve. A June 2023 edition of a prominent farm paper had 29 ads supposedly honoring dairy farmers, 28 of which were placed by auction services, cattle dealers and real-estate agencies. This is quite telling of the current situation.
If the goal of the USDA is to preserve the traditional dairy farm, dairy policy must make a 180-degree turn to make dairy farmers’ cost of production the foundation of future milk pricing. The Federal Milk Market Improvement Act (FMMIA) of 2007, 2009 and 2011, authored by dairy farmer Arden Tewksbury and myself and introduced by the late Sen. Arlen Specter and Sen. Bob Casey, addressed cost of production in milk pricing. The FMMIA was recently revised by Tewksbury and Carlin to address excessive milk check deductions by dairy cooperatives, forcing them to pay the full announced FMMO minimum price without deductions.
Clearly, small and mid-size dairy farms are being abused by large dairy cooperatives, while the USDA runs cover for corrupt dairy cooperatives, as evidenced by the USDA’s stonewalling of the Government Accountability Office’s efforts to find information on the impacts of market concentration. Gerald Carlin
Stop the clocks
Malverne, L.I.: Nineteen percent of states want to do away with the twice-a-year shift in our clocks routine (I heard Friday morning on 1010 WINS). There are more automobile accidents with earlier darkness. There’s a detrimental effect on our mental and physical balance. On the flip side, it will be easier to rise in the mornings, just like roosters, and everybody can get up with the sunrise to go to work feeling robust. Children and young adults can learn lifelong skills like going to bed and rising early helps you “get stuff done” (like Mayor Adams’ administration likes to say). Leave the clocks alone after the move to standard time. Kosmas Patikoglou
Forest Hills: “Adams: We gotta help New Yorkers live longer” (Nov. 2): Exactly! That’s why all NYC retirees must remain on original Medicare forever. Alan Hirschberg
Jacksonville, Fla.: To Voicer Anthony Merlino: Yes, I remember the newspaper “subway fold” too! Back in the early ’70s, when I had to schlep in the early morning hours on the Bayside, Queens Q26 bus into Flushing to take the No. 7 train into the city to attend Stuyvesant High School, there was this man, properly dressed in a suit and trench coat, with a perfectly shaved goatee and mustache, wire-rimmed glasses and his New York Times. He would carefully and perfectly fold the entire paper in half, lengthwise, and slowly proceed to read each half-page one by one, and slowly turn each half-folded page! More than 50 years later, I can still see his image in my head! He must have loved his morning paper so much, because he treated that half-fold with tender, loving care. Carl Hafner
The real aggressor
Astoria: The brainwashed masses should be demanding that Hamas cease fire instead of Israel. It was Hamas that blocked exits for evacuees and Hamas that has some 300 miles of tunnels under residents and hospitals. If Israel is not allowed to finish the job, it will be Hamas committing medieval-esque torture again! The true genocide is aimed at Israel! Susan Davis
North Babylon, L.I.: To Voicer John Puglisi: The Vietnam War was over when Mark Levin was 16. Go back to bed and do some research before spewing lies. Alan Stanley
National time past
Brooklyn: CBS News stopped playing the national anthem every day before the first news program. I think we need it now more than ever. Andrew Cioffi
Loss of coverage
Merrick, L.I.: Just wondering if the Daily News sports department actually has reporters at local games. For the last two days, I’ve opened up The News to read about previous nights’ games for both the Knicks (Wednesday) and Rangers (Thursday), both games at home, with 7:30 p.m. starts, but the next day, no mention of the game even listed in the standings as a late start. I understand the need to save money and pull articles from the AP wire, but locally, the articles are either opinion pieces, team background or discussion around direction, etc. All good reads, but where are the details on actual games? Did the Daily News lose access to the “World’s Most Famous Arena.” Don Murphy
East Hartford, Conn.: Voicer Tom Scott needs to get off his high horse for a moment regarding Matthew Perry’s death. Yes, Perry struggled with drug abuse for years but he got sober and was working to help others. The LAPD found no signs of foul play, and the only medication found was one commonly prescribed for high blood pressure. An autopsy has found no clear cause of death, and initial toxicology tests found no evidence of illegal substances in his system. Obviously, further tests are in order, but such a rush to judgment is an insult to his memory and can’t be blamed on legalization or the “pro-drug community.” Jim Miller
Born in Texas
Nyack, N.Y.: A recent mailing paid for by the New York Republican State Committee purportedly pictured a group of migrants penned in on an NYC sidewalk awaiting shelter placement. Along with the photo was the following blurb: “New York City Mayor Eric Adams created this crisis…” Adams didn’t create this crisis, the Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, did. Adams didn’t herd people onto buses like cattle to be shipped to NYC, Abbott did. Adams didn’t use these human beings as pawns in a political stunt, Abbott did. At least let’s be truthful about it! Oh wait, could it be that truthfulness isn’t a guiding principle of today’s Republican Party? After all, it is the party that has offered sanctuary to two of the most unrivaled strangers to truth, George Santos and Donald Trump. Stanley Cracovia
Redondo Beach, Calif.: Sam Bankman-Fried stole more than Trump is worth. John Chevedden
Manhattan: The op-ed “Adopt a NYC shelter pet for a lifetime of love” (Oct. 27) is an incomplete evaluation. Risa Weinstock and Matt Bershadker only consider animals in their shelters and don’t include adoptable stray cats living in community cat colonies and animals in rescue organizations’ care. Moreover, this is not a closed system: unneutered animals replicate and ensure a rapidly multiplying source of new adoptable animals. The ASPCA and city’s current efforts to address this disequilibrium is inadequate: spay/neuter programs are vastly insufficient, and efforts to subsidize pet care for people of limited means is minimal. Veterinary care is expensive, and pet insurance and sliding scale fees insufficiently defray costs associated with companion animals’ chronic conditions. Bershadker and Weinstock should take a more macro approach. The ASPCA could allocate more funds for spay/neuter programs for all NYC animals. Their financial reporting shows they instead spend exorbitantly on overhead, i.e. executive salaries and fundraising. Eva-Lynn Podietz
Tuckahoe, N.Y.: To Voicer Dan Arthur Pryor: Thank you for using the humane Havahart device to avoid harming wildlife. However, you didn’t read my letter thoroughly: I said nothing about any “clash of hunters and wildlife.” I clearly and repeatedly spoke in favor of a state bill to stop cruel wildlife killing contests, period. I said this bill does not stop standard hunting or fishing contests. I cited the fact that even people like Hunter’s Institute founder Jim Posewitz are against these contests. People change — we grow and evolve. As you mentioned, you previously would have used a musket to kill animals, now you compassionately trap and release them instead. In the same way, we realize that making a contest out of killing is abhorrent and beneath us. We realize we are better than that. Kiley Blackman
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USDA dairy policy is destroying the family farm