Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, March 28, 1998, Image 1

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V 01.43 No. 21
The John and Betty Herbst family form, run by John and son David, is a Maryland
Agricultural Hall of Fame inductee. Their Misty Meadow Farm was recognized for its
conservation efforts and nutrient management. From the left are John, Betsy and
David and children Andrew, Jenny, Katie and Kimberly, and Betty Herbst. See story on
page A 34.
YORK (Yoik Co.) Like the
Colonial settlers who rose up
against what they felt was unfair
taxation by the ruling government,
York County farmers and land
owners are participating in a
1990’s form of tax revolt
They’ve filed a class action
lawsuit to buttonhole tax monies
bom public use.
The Fair Reassessment of York
County (FRYC) committee is urg
ing property owners in Clean and
Green preferential tax valuation to
pay their taxes “under protest”
The FRYC group is a sub-com
mittee of the York County Farm
Bureau, which has taken die lead
in protesting the 1997 county tax
Mid-Am Finishes Business, Celebrates
Merger Into Dairy Farmers Of America
Managing Editor
thebannerof“A Vision of Unity,”
the annual meeting of Mid-
American Dairymen's Associa
tion, Inc. (Mid-Am) took into
account the 1997 year’s activities
but focused even mere on the mer
ger of Mid-Am with the Southern
Region of Associated Milk Pro
ducers Inc. (AMPI), die Western
Dairymen Cooperative Inc.
(WDCI), and Milk Maiekting Inc.
(MMI) that began operation on
January 1,1998, as Dairy Farmers
of America (DFA).
Gary Hanman, president and
chief executive officer of DFA,
presented his annual report to the
mote than 1,200 dairy farmers in
attendance at the Hyatt Regency
Grown Center Hotel. Herman said
that 30 years ago the leaden of five
Four Sections
York Farmers File Property Tax Lawsuit
reassessments and methods used
in valuing properties.
Sent in early March to several
thousand owners of Clean and
Green preferentially valued prop
erty was a second mailing encour
aging affected property owners to
participate in the tax protest With
that mailing went a sample “tax
protest letter” which the commit-
tee is encouraging recipients to
file with their spring tax payment
as well as copy and share with
others similarly affected by the re
According to Bill Buser, York
grain fanner chairing the FYRC
committee, under certain circum
stances, when a tax payment is
dairy cooperatives came together,
convinced that dairy farmers could
increase their income potential. As
time progressed, more than 100
dairy cooperatives seeking similar
benefits merged with Mid-Am to
make it the largest dairy marketing
cooperative in the nation.
Early in 1997, dairy leaden
again came together, unified in
their desire to find a way to over
come difficult economic condi
tions. The cooperatives they repre
sented had more members in much
larger geographic regions than
those who met in 1968. But the
challenges of the industry were
similar. And out of this latest mer
ger has come Dairy Farmers of
America with 22,000 members and
marketing and brand recognition in
every part of the nation.
According to Herman, milk
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, March 28, 1998
made “under protest” in Pennsyl
vania, 25 percent of the tax pay
ment must be put in a speciid
escrow find and held it until the
tax dispute is resolved The FRYC
committee is hoping that many of
the county’s affected owners of
Clean and Green tax valued land
are aggravated enough with their
increased tax bills to make the ef
fort to file their spring tax pay
ments “under protest” and thus es
crow from governing bodies’ use
significant amounts of tax dollars.
And Buser notes that, even if
property owners have already paid
their tax bills, they can follow up
and participate in the protest by
prices for 1997 ended the year at
$13.29, up almost $2.00 from
December of 19%, but the average
price was $12.05, down $1.34 from
the 19% average. Member volume
declined slightly, mostly due to
members retiring or quitting the
dairy business. The cooperative
handled 17.2 billion pounds of
milk, a reduction of nearly 99 mil
lion pounds. Total milk handled,
which includes milk purchased
from others, was up slightly to 20.6
billion pounds. Net savings of
$26,015 was realized on
$3,861,519 of revenues.
Guest speaker was the honor
able Charles Stmholm, U.S. rep
resentative from Texas and rank
ing member on the House Ag Com
mittee. He said in the last farm bill,
we in the United States decided
(Turn to Pag* A 22)
$28.50 Per Year
Dr. Beegle Clarifies
Phosphorus Report
Penn State University
Professor of Agronomy
Co.) lam writing in response
to an article in the March 14 edi
tion of Lancaster Farming, “Nutri
ent Management Proposals Chal
lenge Future of Farming.”
Part of this article was based on
a presentation that I made to the
(State Conservation Commission)
Nutrient Management Advisory
Board at their meeting in Harris
burg on March 10.
I was asked by the Nutrient
Management Advisory Board to
give them an overview and update
on the technical background on the
phosphorus issue to help them to
evaluate the implications of this
issue for nutrient management in
This was prompted by the
intense media attention that has
been focused on phosphorus
filing with their tax collector a
completed copy of the tax protest
Earlier this year, the FYRC had
filed a class action appeal to the
Assessment Board for reson
cideration of Clean and Green
land values following county real
estate reassessment last year.
Since the class action activity first
At the Mid-America Dairymen Inc. annual meeting in Kan
sas City, Missouri, Monday, Everett Newswanger (left)
received the Salute Award from Carl Baumann, the national
cooperative’s president. The award was given “in recogni
tion of outstanding service to dairy farmers as editor of Lan
caster Farming .”
600 Per Copy
recently and the legislative action
that has been taken in Maryland.
I would like to clarify what I
believe was a misinterpretation of
what was discussed.
Tills presentation was not, as
implied, an announcement of a
major policy change or release of
surprising new findings on this
The article stated that what I
presented was a “complete turnar
ound on what had been considered
scientific fact” in regard to the
issue of phosphorus and nutrient
It was also stated that “the
switch to emphasizing phosphorus
as the nutrient of equal or most
concern has been sudden and
Because the nutrient content of
manure does not match the nutrient
requirement of most crops, it is
necessary to make a decision on
which nutrient we will balance in
(Turn to Pag* A 24)
step was an appeal, the escrowing
of tax protest funds was initially
disputed by the Assessment
Board. By Pennsylvania law, tax
protest funds monies need only be
escrowed if the dispute has reach
ed the courts.
On March 12, the FRYC, with
two individuals, did indeed file a
(Turn to Pago A 29)