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Crawford Ag Forum gives Farm Bill input
Among the featured speakers at the recent Ag Forum in Crawford County are, from
the left, Fred Lawyer, member of the legislative committee for the Pa. State Grange;
Jack Post, president of the Crawford County Farmers Association; and Rep. Tom Ridge
of the 21st Congressional District.
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- L —Farming, Saturday, May 12,1—4-AH
BY NANCY KUNICK
MEADVJLLE - Interested
farmers gathered at the Crawford
County courthouse in Meadville in
April 30 to express their views on
the 1965 Farm Bill.
U.S. Congressman Tom Ridge
from the 21st congressional district
chaired the agricultural forum.
Also present were his colleagues
from the House Agriculture
Committee, James Jeffords,
Congressman from Vermont and
Bob Smith, Congressman from
Oregon. Also Charles Shaw of the
U.S. Dept, of Agriculture was on
the panel to answer questions.
Local representatives of PFA,
PFU, Grange and the Grape
Growers Association made
statements on behalf of their
Jack Rynd, a Crawford County
dairyman, voiced ideas as
president of the Crawford-Venango
Chapter of Pa. Farmers Union. He
feels there is a need for a food
policy that is sensitive to the needs
of the producers. He also pointed
out that for dairy farmers, the
cutback in milk production now in
effect is reflecting an average loss
to NFU members of $6,000 an
“It’s creating a very real hard
ship to those who can not comply,
leaving the farmer with little or no
buying power,” he said.
Jim Brown, President of the
PFU, commended Ridge for a
voting record that shows support
for the family farm. He would like
to see the government aid the
young farmer to enable him to
purchase a farm,, another
In his testimony Brown made the
following recommendations for the
Pennsylvania Farmers Union.
1. We recommend a base surplus
production plan with 100% parity.
2. We recommend eliminating
the pockets of non-federal order
3. We recommend that all
mandatory supply management
programs be adopted through
referendums by producers.
4. We recommend that casein
and caseinate powders be subject
to quotas by the International
Trade Commission under Section
22 and limit the annual import
level by 7.5 billion pounds.
5. We recommend that the
Secretary of Agriculture issue
bonus food stamps designated
specifically for real dairy
6. We recommend returning
whole fluid milk to 3.5% butterfat.
7. We recommend a continuation
of the farmer held reserve
programs to insure an adequate
supply to meet domestic and ex
8. We recommend that imported
mushrooms be subject to tariffs
equal to the difference between the
price of imported mushrooms and
the domestic cost of the production
(including labor and taxes) on
mushrooms used for canning.
9. We recommend that imported
mushrooms be subject to the same
health, sanitation, pesticide and
specie standards and
requirements as domestic
10. We endorse the concept
embodied in the Young Fanners
Act of 1975. This Program would
establish a federal corporation
which would be funded to buy land
from willing sellers and lease to
qualified young farmers with an
option to buy. Fees collected from
the young farmers would even
tually make the program self
sufficient. We believe this
Program would stabilize land
tenure and make it possible for
young farmers to begin farming
Fred Lawyer, spokesman for the
Pa. Grange feels there should be
more restriction on corporate
farmers. He explained that “land
ownership moves into fewer and
fewer hands many have gotten
into agriculture as a tax shelter,
producing more resulting in lower
prices hurting those that need to
farm for a living.”
Crawford County Farmers’
Association President Jack Post
feels that tax reform and interest
rates need to be considered when
looking at the 1985 Farm Bill. He
would like to see a long range
program flexible enough to adapt
to industry changes. This seemed
to be the consensus as the question
and answer period unfolded. Farm
organizations tended to agree on
that point. Post would also like to
see more emphasis put on research
funding to utilize surpluses, such
as those in the dairy industry.
Another possibility is to look to
underprivileged countries as an
outlet for surplus foods, Post added
that these countries may even be
willing to pay transport costs.
Following comments by Erie
County grape grower George
Scheiffert and by Cal Ernst,
Crawford Co. farmer, the format