Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, February 12, 2000, Image 10

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    AlO-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, February 12, 2000
Farmer’s Story
Two large Pennsylvania farm organizations this week,
made a creditable attempt to let consumers know how little
of their pay checks really go into buying food.
First, at the Pennsylvania Young Farmer Convention in
Reading agriculture spokespersons went to a local grocery
store on Tuesday, talked to shoppers about food production
as it relates to farmers, and took the shopping carts full of
items from two shoppers and paid for the food items in the
carts, but not the non-food items. You can be sure these
shoppers as well as the check-out persons were amazed at
how many items in the carts had«othing to do with food.
This is an annual event for the state young farmers and a
quite worthy effort to draw consumer media attention to the
farm situation.
The second event was sponsored by the Pennsylvania
Farm Bureau. They proclaimed Wednesday, February 9 as
the day consumers have earned enough to buy groceries for
the year. It takes the average family just six weeks to make
enough money to feed itself for the entire year, according to
the state organization.
To mark this “Food Checkout Day,” as it is called,
county farm bureaus held special events too. For example
the Lancaster Farm Bureau collected food for Ronald Mc-
Donald House in Hershey. Cereals, dried foods, canned
goods, and powdered goods were accepted along with
monetary gifts at several local stores and delivered to
Ronald McDonald House on Wednesday.
We commend these efforts to show Americans just how
cheep their food is. In 1958, it took 22 percent of the average
American family’s income to pay for food. Now, four dec
ades later, food costs are down to just 10.9 percent. Jane
Balmer, Lancaster Farm Bureau president, said consumers
pay three times what farmers are paid for eggs and twice
what a farmer gets for milk. “People throughout the United
States need to take a closer look at the plight of farmers,”
she said. “The general public does not understand our prob
lem. The shoe factories have gone overseas. Now, they are
doing it to agriculture: they’re going to import the food.”
Hopefully, with efforts like this from good farm organiza
tions, the demise of production agriculture in America will
not happen anytime soon.
According to the Vice-Presi
dent of the Pennsylvania Farm
Bureau, Carl T. Shaffer of Mif
flinville, “things are as bad for
dairy farmers in Pennsylvania
as they have been in decades.”
Despite our booming economy,
203 family dairy farmers in
Pennsylvania were forced out of
business in 1999. That’s 2% of
all the dairy farmers in the
Beginning Beekeeping Seminar,
Leslie N. Firth Learning
Center, Mercer, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Farm Toy Show and Sale, York
4-H Center. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Food Automation Conference
and Expo 2000, Grant Hyatt,
Capitol Turf and Ornamental
School, Holiday Inn, Grant
Telling The
♦ Farm Forum ♦
A /S'?.*
One of the most important
things Congress can do to help
Pennsylvania dairy farmers is to
expand the Northeast Dairy
Compact. We started this pro
cess last year and we need to
continue the effort in the new
session of Congress that has just
Last year, I worked with
many members of Congress
from Pennsylvania like Con-
(Turn to Pag* A 35)
ville, 8:15 a.m.-3:05 p.m.
North American Small Fruit
Conference, Primadonna
Resort, Primm, Nev., thru
Feb. 17.
Poultry Health and Manage
ment Seminar, Kreider’s Res
Mounting A Successful Repro
duction Program, Country
Village Restaurant, Allens
? wf
f ' i
To Sign Up For Drought
Just a reminder the sign up
deadline for both the federal and
state drought programs is
February 25. The federal program
has $1.2 billion for farmers who
suffered losses to 1999 crops due
to natural disasters.
Farmers are eligible for
compensation for 1999 crop
losses directly attributed to
adverse weather and related
conditions. The Commonwealth
of Pennsylvania has created an
emergency drought relief program
for farmers who suffered crop
loss due to the 1999 drought. The
$6O million state program is in
addition to any crop assistance
available under the federal
program. There is also $5.6
million available to assist farmers
m meeting the requirement to
purchase federal crop insurance
for crop years 2000 and 2001. To
sign up for these programs
contact the Farm Service Agency
(FSA) office serving your county.
To Look At Five Steps To
Improve Yields
Robert Anderson, Lancaster
County Extension Agronomy
Agent, offers the following five
steps to improve yields and
1. Soil tests are important.
They point out nutrients
that are missing and need
to be added to bolster
yields. They also point
out where fertilizer costs
may be reduced.
2. Select hybrid and
varieties based on
performance. Use test
comparisons that are
conducted close to home
under conditions and
management similar to
your own operation.
3. Practice patience. Plant as
early as you can but when
soil conditions are not
suitable, keep the seed m
the bag. Avoid going to
the field anytime during
late winter or early spring
Lancaster County Dairy Day I,
Farm and Home Center, Lan
caster. Day II is Feb. 29.
Sheep Management Series, York
Extension Office, 7 p.m.-9
p.m., also Feb. 22 and 29.
Crops Day, Limestone Fireball,
Limestone, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Crops Day, Kittaning Township
Fire Hall.
Regional Potato Day,
Ebensburg Mini-Mall,
Lebanon County Crops and
Dairy Day, Lebanon Valley
Expo Center, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
FSA Production Workshop,
Lebanon Valley Ag Center.
(Turn to Pag* AM)
when soil conditions are
not favorable. Soil
compaction, especially
shallow compaction, robs
4. Calibrate the planter
metering systems. Over
applying or under
applying of insecticide or
fertilizer may affect
yields and reduce profits.
Even when starter
fertilizer is needed,
increases in yield usually
occur when the minimum
amount of fertilizer is
applied. Over application
February 13,2000
Background Scripture:
Matthew 24:1 through 25:13,
Devotional Reading:
Matthew 24:36-44.
The Sunday after Christ
mas I taught our adult Sunday
school class on the subject,
“Apocalypse: Will There Be A
Next Sunday ?” Today, as I write
these words, it is next Sunday,
January 3, and despite all the
dire predictions, we made it
through New Year’s Eve and
Day without any worldwide cat
aclysms. (Yes, I realize that, by
the time you read this, there
may have been some!)
During our study of the apoc
alyptic element in Christian
belief, we studied a variety of
relevant biblical texts. We stud
ied premillennialism, postmil
lennialism and amillennialism.
We considered the beliefs of
those who believed Christ’s
Second Coming was his resur
rection, those who believe it was
in the Pentecostal experience of
the Holy Spirit, those who
believe that it is what the
Christian experiences at death,
those who believe his return can
be identified with the gradual,
evolutionary growth of God’s
rule on earth and those who
believe Christ is yet to come
To me, it seems that the only
unambiguous biblical texts on
this subject are those typified by
what Jesus says to his disciples
and us-in Matthew 25: “Watch
therefore, for you know neither
the day nor the hour” (25:13).
Like the ten maidens awaiting
the return of the groom in his
parable, we do not know when
our Master will return and I
believe that he does not want us
to know: “But of that day and
hour no one knows, not even the
angels of heaven, nor the Son,
but the Father 0n1y... Therefore
you must be ready; for the Son of
man is coming at an hour you do
not expect” (24:37,44).
Two Strategies
It would seem that there are
two strategies for making sure
that Christ does not catch us
unprepared. One would be to
find some way of determining
just when and how he is return
ing. Just as we prepare for an
important day in our lives by
marking it on the calendar and
calculating what we must
accomplish before that date
falls, so we could similarly be
certain of being ready for
Christ’s return. ITie only thing
wrong with that strategy is that
Jesus says we tore not to know
of pesticides is costly and
does not improve results,
5. Check equipment before
heading to the field. Late
winter maintenance,
which replaces those
broken and worn out parts
on equipment will
decrease the amount of
down time during soil
preparation and planting.
Feather Prof, 's Footnote:
"There are many things in life
that will catch your eye, but only
a few will catch your heart -
pursue those."
“that day and hour.”
That brings us to the second
strategy: to be ready for his
return at any time.
We are to be ready for him,
not at a precise month, day and
time, but for all months, days
and time. “ Therefore you must be
ready; for the Son of man is com
ing at an hour you do not expect .”
That is the whole point of the
parable of the wise and foolish
maidens at the marriage feast
and also of the story about the
wicked servant who, thinking
his master has been delayed in
returning, begins to abuse his
fellow servants (24:45-51). Please
note that the advice of Jesus is
not geared to helping them to
prognosticate the time, place
and manner, but to be ‘ready’
Coming - Ready or Not!
So, what does it mean for us
to be ‘ready’? There is nothing
esoteric or mysterious about the
answer to this question, for the
technique of being ‘ready’ is sim
ply to be doing what the Master
expects of us. For the wicked ser
vant, being ‘ready’ would have
meant taking care of his respon
sibilities and his fellow servants
just as the master instructed
him and expected of him. For the
five “foolish” maidens it would
have meant simply being pre
pared for their task by having
ample oil with them for their
The most important question,
however, is not what they need
ed to be doing, but what we need
to do to be ‘ready’ today. If Christ
were to return to us tomorrow,
what would God expect of each
of us? Of course, his expecta
tions would vary with each indi
vidual, so the thing you must
ask yourself-as I must ask
myself-is: what does God want
to find me doing when Christ
returns? Give some thought to
that question and don’t dismiss
it too quickly or too simply.
Rightly understood, it is one of
the most important-if not the
most important-questions you
can ever ask yourself.
With all the reading and
thinking I did in preparation for
my class, I decided that, as
Christ predicted, I don’t know
when, how and where Christ is
returning. Nor does he want me
to devote myself to trying to
determine those details. What
he wants of me is also what he
wants of you: *Watch therefore,
for you know neither the day nor
the hour.’’
Lancaster Farming
Established 1955
Published Every Saturday
Ephrata Review Building
I E. Main St.
Ephrata, PA 17522
Lancaster Farming, Inc.
A Sleinman Enterprise
William J. Burgess General Manager
Everett R. Newswanger Editor
Copyright 2000 by Lancaster Farming