Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, December 08, 1984, Image 17

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question about milk marketing?
The men with the answers
representatives of all the major co
ops and an independent milk
handler, the executive secretary of
the Pa. Milk Marketing Board, a
member of the National Dairy
Promotion and Research Board,
and an Extension milk marketing
specialist were at the Milk
Marketing Update held in
Chambersburg on Dec. 3.
And why were they gathered? It
wasn't an exclusive upper echelon
meeting, a policy-makers-only
session. They came together at the
invitation of the Franklin County
dairy extension agent to talk with
local dairy farmers about milk
Tom Jurchak's easy going manner during the Franklin
County Milk Marketing Update did not belie the serious
economic situation that dairymen are facing.
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Milk Marketing Update focuses on cooperation
But only a handful of farmers,
about 25 to 30, took advantage of
the opportunity to leam more
about milk marketing and to share
their thoughts about the tough
problems facing the dairy industry
Throughout the day’s
discussions and remarks, the role
of cooperation in successful
marketing emerged as a primary
concern. In the morning, par
ticipants hashed out the problem of
infighting and lack of cooperation
among the co-ops, while in the
afternoon PFA president Keith
Eckel attributed the achievements
of the national promotion program
to the remarkable cooperation of
the board members.
In the first session of the day,
each co-op representative briefly
Diversified Imports "inline"
with your needs., in character with our reputation
described what his organization
has to offer the dairy farmer. In
addition, Wallace Willig, manager
of milk marketing at Hershey
Chocolate Company, shared the
point of view of an independent
Taking part in the program
were: H. Eugene Lawson, Capitol
Milk Producers: Boyd Cook,
assistant manager, Dairymen,
Inc.; Earl Forwood, president,
Eastern Milk Producers; James
Fraher, Inter-State Milk
Cooperative; Norman Sollen
berger, Lehigh Valley Farmers;
and Richard Fries and Paul
Hornbaker, Maryland and Virginia
Milk Producers.
While many of the co-ops have
Similar offerings, such as quality
programs, and many have also
gone through hard times and
rebounded from internal
problems, each has distinct
philosophies and goals.
The challenge, remarked Inter-
State economist James Fraher, “is
to return a price to our members
that will keep them in business.”
He continued by saying that Inter-
State is going about that in two
ways: by seeking a fair basic price
in the new farm legislation, and by
carrying out Inter-State’s ac
tivities profitably.
In choosing a co-op or other
market, Fraher later added, each
dairy farmer must ask himself,
“What is my philosophy?” and
“What are my financials?”
One farmer asked whether a
dairy farmer can assume his co-op
will take responsibility for good
marketing. To this question Boyd
Cook, of Dairymen, Inc.,
responded that each dairyman has
a responsibility to work in the co
op, to work within the philosophy of
the co-op, for the benefit of all
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Keith Eckel, PFA president and member of the National
Dairy Promotion and Research Board, expressed his en
thusiasm about the cooperation of board members in
promoting dairy products.
But the morning discussion often
returned to cooperation, or lack of
it, among the organizations. While
Sollenberger, the Lehigh
representative, went so far as to
claim the other co-ops were giving
Lehigh a bad name, the other
representatives remarked on their
co-ops’ often unsuccessful at
tempts to coordinate and combine
Even when milk haulers have
runs that duplicate those of other
co-ops, for instance, they haven’t
been able to join together to save
resources. However, Earl For
wood, who emphasized his co-op’s
efforts at industry cooperation, did
note that Eastern has successful
agreements with Dairylea.
And internal personality con
flicts were blamed for some co-op
problems as well. Each member of
the panel placed differing values
on the importance of strong far
mer-directors, and the need for
well-trained marketing and
management professionals to run
the organization.
One simple but effective idea for
balancing the input of the farmer
members and management per
sonnel was noted by Eugene
Lawson. He explained that the
directors of Capitol always meet m
executive session before meeting
with management, so that the
directors express their ideas in a
united manner.
While this lack of cooperation
lent a note of discouragement to
the morning session, in the af
ternoon Keith Eckel emphasized
the positive results that have
sprung from the cooperation of the
members of the National Dairy
Promotion and Research Board.
The national promotion board
was created, reminded Eckel,
because there is a serious surplus
situation in this nation with regard
to supply. “The monies are not in
Washington now for an expensive
support program,” he added.
He stated that the 36 members of
the board, despite their varied
interests, agreed to sit on the board
and develop a program because
they are committed to selling the
“By May 16, scarcely two
months after the board was seated,
they approved a $50.6 million
contract for advertising and
promotion of dairy products,” he
cited as further evidence of the
cooperation of the board members.
Eckel explained that the national
board chose UDIA for the ad
vertising contiact for two reasons;
expediency and coordination.
Because the national board wanted
to see results as soon as possible,
UDIA, with its advertising
program already in place, was the
logical choice. Furthermore,
because UDIA has input from
farmers at the regional and state
level, there seemed to be the
greatest opportunity to put
together a coordinated ad cam
the national board’s concern for
showing the quickest results
possible to the dairy farmers, said
Eckel, is because of the upcoming