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How it’s shaped
It is very encouraging to see more and more
farmers getting directly and actively involved
in deciding their own future.
The current effort to organize a packer co-op
among hog producers is a good example. As
swine production continues to expand, it's all
too evident that the weak link in the overall
hog industry chain is slaughter-packing.
The shutdown of the A and B Plant has been
felt in many marketing circles. Its dampening
effect on prices has been measured in some
places in the dollars instead of cents.
Competition is the lifeblood of any product
marketing system. The more involved the
greater is the competition. And as everyone
knows it takes at least two hands willing to be
raised against each other to make a true
auction and market. And a third or more only
sharpens the competition that benefits the
A packer co-op among hog producers would
be a bold, new venture in Pennsylvania. But
these are times that demand bold, new ap
proaches in agriculture. Business as usual is
not going to help farmers meet the challenges
of today and face the greater challenges of
In a number of areas of agriculture, a basic
philosophy went askew in those hectic days of
expansion back in the 1970'5. Too many forgot
that any ag operation is primarily in business
to provide a product for the consumer. You
don’t have cows and pigs just to breed and
raise bigger and better pigs - although that is
always a secondary goal. First and foremost of
all, you must make milk and jsork that con
sumers will buy.
The more that farmers get involved in the
entire process of getting their product to the
Saturday, August 4
Sussex County Farm and Horse
Show, Augusta, N.J.; continues
through Sunday the 12th.
Clinton County Fair, Mill Hall;
continues through Saturday.
Green County Fair, Waynes burg;
continues through Saturday.
Sunday, August 5
Union County West End Fair,
Laurel ton; continues through
4-H Achievement Days, Penn
State; continues through
Great Bedford County Fair,
Bedford; continues through
Lebanon Area Fair, Lebanon;
continues through Saturday.
Wayne County Fair; Honesdale;
consumer, they more say they'll have in their
industry and in their own future.
Broader-based hog producer involvement in
getting their product to the consumer will help
in guiding the direction of the future of their
industry - one that appears to be falling more
and more in the shadow of the path followed
by the poultry industry recently.
It reminds me o> the oil filter commercial on
TV. Hog producers got to look ahead and not
sit back and let others decide their future.
They can pay now to make an investment in an
attempt to guide that future. Or, they can pay
much more dearly later when others decide
Here in Lancaster County, farmers m East
Donegal Township are also getting involved in
another way. They’re stepping to the front and
becoming involved in determining new
regulations to govern the use of manure on the
land to prevent stream and subsurface water
This is good, too.
These are just two areas in which farmers
face some tough decisions to get involved and
make some basic changes. But such changes
and more are coming to agriculture. If farmers
help set the guidelines for such changes, it's
going to be much easier for them to adopt and
adapt to them.
WHAT REALLY DIED?
What really died on the Bethel Twp., Berks
County, farm of Frederick Wright early
-Was it more than 4,500 show birds?
-Was it even more than irreplacable blood
lines that are lost forever?
-Was it much, much more than one farm
family's fight to survive?
What really died was a vital part of
agriculture and a vital part of each farmer.
What really died was another segment of a
basic belief in fairness and rights of the in
dividual that has been passed down
generation after agricultural generation.
With each such death of belief comes a
stronger and stronger opinion in agriculture
that farmers are but pawns in a game played
by big government and big business.
A lot more died on Wednesday than just the
last flock in the Al debacle - one of the saddest
episodes in Pennsylvania agriculture.
Now, it remains to be seen if so much has
died in vain.
Will there be a fair and impartial step-by
step review of what has happened over the
past year or will it too be characterized by
Every farm family touched by Al - from the
first whose flock was killed to the unique, rare
lines of the Wrights that are supposed to be
the last - deserves such a review.
' • ,
continues through Sunday.
Tuetday, Augiut 7
Hunterdon County N.J. Sheep
Producers, 8 p.m., Flemington
Extension Center, “Quality
Wool Production in a Small
York and state plowing contests
and tillage demonstration day,
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I hi i AWHtNi t W Al IHtM f
2 Kings 16 through 17.
2 Kings 17:34-41.
Norman Cousins’ latest book,
THE HEALING HEART (W.W.
Norton) is a marvelous testimony
about the spiritual dimensions of
his recovery from a very serious
heart attack in December, 1980.
But in an epilogue, Cousins
closes the book on an ironic note;
What concerns me is that
everyone’s health—including that
of the next generation—may
depend more on the health of
society and the healing of the
nations than on the conquest of
THINGS NOT RIGHT
When Cousins speaks of “the
health of society,” he is referring
to the moral and spiritual condition
of our society and the “sickness”
of war and holocaust that looms
over our world. If we fail to solve
these challenges, he is saving, all
the personal health measures in
the world will not matter, for the
condition of the patient—our
world—is “critical.” Only a
worldwide response to these
challenges, says Cousins, can keep
the patient from becoming “ter
This is a startling, prophetic
voice added to many others with
essentially a similar message; we
NOW IS THE TIME
By Jay Irwin
LjnclsUr County A(ricuKuro Atont
To Observe Poultry Month
The Lancaster County Com
missioners have proclaimed
August as Poultry Month. The
poultry producers and supportive
industry have suffered through the
Avian Influenza tragedy, but are
showing their true colors and
strength in the rapid recovery. The
last flock was de-populated last
week which totals 403 different
farms and nearly 16 million birds.
The important fact now is that 233
farms have re-populated with
nearly 12 million birds. What
remains is the final cleaning and
disinfecting of remaining
premises, a 30-day waiting period,
and the quarantine can be lifted.
All concerned poultrymen hope
this can be accomplished as soon
We need to tell our urban and
suburban friends that poultry
must change our world NOW, if it
is to survive.
As I read these words I couldn’t
help wondering how many others
would read them and pass on
without bothering to pay any real
attention to them. Yes, of course
we know that our world is facing
enormous problems, but, with the
tremendous advances of
technology taking place con
stantly, wn t: ”d it difficult to think
of our own era as even potentially
“the last days.”
So it was with the people of Israel
in the Bth century B.C. It wasn’t
that they were not warned about
their impending destruction. God
had sent them one prophet after
another, but, when things are
going reasonably well, who listens
to a prophet? The people of Israel
knew that all was not “right in the
world,” but they hardly recognized
their times as “the last days of
Israel” which they were!
They, like we, often misun
derstood the purpose of God’s
prophets. God sent these men, not
to pronounce doom on Israel, but to
motivate the people to make the
changes in their lives that would
deliver them from the con
sequences of the evils in their
society; idolatry, human sacrifice
That sounds like a description of
our society, too. Idolatry is no less
with us today than it was then
(only its form is different), we
have our own contemporary
rituals of human sacrifice and
immorality flourishes under many
guises. Unless we are to eat the
bitter fruits of our folly, we must
bring about changes NOW, say the
prophets. Who knows how long we
may have? Is it possible that these
could be for our world the “last
days” we’ve always known would
come “some day”?
products in Lancaster County
provide nourishment for over 6
million people and it’s estimated
that nearly 20,000 people are
employed in the many different
areas of the poultry industry in
The industry is strong because of
the dedicated, well-managed
poultry farms along with a highly
efficient and supportive allied
industry. Three cheers for Poultry
To Attend Ag Progress Days
Most farmers do not need much
prodding to visit an agricutlurai
show whether it is in the county or
halfway across the state.
And, since 1976 tens of thousands
of persons have Jammed Penn
State University’s Rock Spring
Agricultural Research Center,
nine miles west of Boalsburg on
Route 45, to attend the Annual Ag
Progress Days. The dates are
August 21-23. Activities will start
at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. each
This year’s show should be one of
the biggest and best ever. More
than 300 commercial companies
will be exhibiting their products
for home, farming and country
living. Take a day out of your busy
schedule (you’ve earned it) and
plan to attend’Ag Progress Days.
There is no parnag. or admission
charge. “ '**■*'*
To Communicate With Legislators
How long has it been since you,
as a farmer, have been in contact
with your Senator, Congressman,
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