Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, December 21, 1974, Image 1

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    Library ,'Jcf a o'* Agriculture
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Vol. 20 Na 6
William Mertz, seated, and his
brother John pore over some of the
DHIA records which are a key
Jim Felpel
FFA Regional Agrib usinessman
by: Melissa Piper
Many times when FFA
projects are mentioned,
people tend to think of veal
calves, dairy herds, feeder
pigs, corn or gardens;
however the organization
offers much more than the
traditional agricultural
projects. Perhaps one of the
most interesting projects is
that of working with small
James Felpel, a member
of the Cloister FFA Chapter,
at Ephrata Senior High
School is an expert in the
small engines and
mechanical work and has
many awards to prove it.
Jim has participated on
the small gas engine team
that placed second in
competition at Penn State
and has traveled to the
Eastern States Exposition in
Springfield, Mass, to com
pete in contests against other
FFA members from all over
the Eastern United States.
What is involved in the
small engines competitions?
Jim explained it in this
element in the management of their
Berks County Holstein herd.
“The judges take an
engine, usually from a lawn
' mower and rearrange it so it
will not be in working or
“The team or individual
must find the problem and
correct it properly m the
shortest time possible.”
Along with repairing an
engine in the fastest time,
the competitors must take
written exams to prove they
have a working knowledge of
the engines and mechanical
When asked how he got
interested in mechanical
work, Jim explained-“my
father is a contractor and we
always had many trucks and
vechicles around our home.”
“It was getting too ex
pensive to have them worked
on at a garage when
something happened so I
decided to leam what I could
about engines.”
No doubt, Jim’s family is
happy that he has learned so
well as he has overhauled
many of the trucks and cars
at home.
Along with his interest in
Serving The Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania Areas
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, December 21, 1974
t*nc»»t«r Tunning- Fhoto
mechanical work, Jim has
Jim Felpel, shown overhauling a truck, is a member
nf thp Clnktpr FFA flhantpr at Fnhrata Hicrh
Management Is Their
Key to Dairy Success
by Dick Wanner
It costs money for DHIA
testing, it costs money to
have the AI technician in to
breed cows and it costs
money for a farm business
analysis. So when things get
rough in the dairy business,
like now, and it’s time to
watch the pennies, that’s the
time to think about saving
money by doing without
outside services. Right?
Wrong, according to just
about any farming or dairy
expert you ask. Also wrong
according to Bill and John
Mertz, a pair of Berks
County brothers who figure
the dairyman needs all the
help he can get. Especially in
the tough years. Bill and
John have been running the
family’s 200-acre dairy farm
for the past 11 years, and
they’ve consistently been
among the top ten Berks
County DHIA producers.
This year the Mertz herd was
the second highest DHIA fat
producer, with an average
production of 661-pounds per
cow. Their herd milk
In This Issue
Markets 2-4
Sale Register 49
Fanners Almanac 6
Classified Ads 25
Editorials 10
Homestead Notes 34
Home on The Range 37
Organic Living 41
Junior Cooking Edition 38
Farm Women Calendar 39
YorkCo.DHIA 44
Lebanon DHIA 18
Lancaster Pjrmmf Photo
production was 16,533 pounds
for the year.
Their high producer - a
grade Holstein - milked over
20,000 pounds this year, and
a registered animal topped
the 19,000-pound mark.
The herd, which numbers
about 45 animals milking, is
about evenly divided bet
ween grade and Registered
Holsteins. “I’d love to work
towards a Registered herd,”
Bill said, “but the grades
keep giving so much milk I
can’t get them out of the
The Mertz herd has been
on DHIA since 1958. “We
wouldn’t think of going off
DHIA,” Bill pointed out.
“We’ve got tie stalls and a
pipeline milker, so we never
know from day to day what
an individual cow is
producing. The only way we
know what kind of per
formance we’re getting from
Conference Looks at
Control of Farming
The future of farming
depends on strengthened
cooperatives operating in a
relatively free marketplace.
The only alternatives are
complete corporate
domination of agriculture or
complete government
This was the unjfression
we were left with after an all
day conference last week at
the Lancaster Farm and
Home Center. The con
ference, which was con
ducted by professors from
Penn State’s College of
Agriculture was entitled
“Who Will Control U.S.
While the Penn Staters
were careful to avoid any
attempt at a direct answer to
the question posed by the
conference, most of them
seemed biased in favor of
stronger coops - a bias much
of the audience shared.
Those attending the
conference, according to
Lancaster County associate
agent Jay Irwin, were ag
leaders from a five-county
area. Irwin was the local
coordinator for the con
ference, one of 11 scheduled
for different parts of the
state during a three-month
In the morning, the con
ferees listened while the
experts talked about what
they perceived to be the four
mam types of agricultural
systems, and a fifth type
which would be a com
bination of all the others. The
1* nl /I IPAftna
$2.00 Per Year
our cows is through DHIA
Just as welcome as the
DHIA tester at the Mertz
herd is the artificial in
semination technician. “I
know we could probably
handle our own AI, but I’d
rather have someone han
dling it who does it every
day,” Bill said. “It doesn’t
take too many repeat
breedings to pay the AI man
for his services.”
The Hertzes also buy the
Pennsylvania Farmers
Association’s farm
management business
analysis service. The FM
BAS accountant calls on
them several times a year
with computerized data on
feed costs, production in
come and farm input ex
In addition to their milking
herd, the Mertzes feed about
[Continued on Pace 23)
- Independent open market
system; 2 - Corporate far
ming; 3 - Complete
cooperative system, and 4 -
Complete government
control. The necessary
conditions for each kind of
farming were presented in
turn by the Penn State
Alvi Voigt, an associate
professor of agricultural
economics, talked about the
changes that would have to
be made if the dispersed
open market system were to
prevail. “In a dispersed
system,” Voigt said, “large
numbers of individual far
mers must be able to make
management decisions.
Open markets are essential
to allow the farmer to freely
buy the supplies he needs
and sell what he produces.
The operating farmer, in the
open system, plays a com
posite role of laborer,
manager, financier and
“With this system, far
mers could be somewhat
better off economically than
if they were contractees or
laborers, but they would lack
enough power in the market
place to gain substantially
higher incomes.”
Voigt said that m order to
insure the survival of an
open market system,
national policies would have
to be changed to maintain a
pubhc market information
and retrieval system
Government would need to
take more vigorous antitrust