• John Vogel

    Some Dairy Farmers Self-impose Raw Milk Dilemma

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on June 7, 2013

    June is dairy month – one of agriculture's most celebrated public celebrations. It's right up there with Mom, baseball and apple pie. It's when politicians have no fear of being seen with milk "moostaches". It's when baseball players sport them while pitching "Milk. It's good for you!" None the less, there's a dark side to milk's public exposure, one I've been wrestling with for years – and one certain to draw harsh criticism for…

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  • John Vogel

    Answers To Dairy's Deepening Dilemma

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on June 8, 2010

     This week, I began getting e-mails from dairy farmers beating the drum for a nationwide milk-dumping protest on July 4. Heart-breaking news of dairy farms selling out is everywhere. And person after person working in the dairy industry tell me “It’s going to get nasty this year.”  Then there’s the side you don’t hear reported. Not all dairy farmers are going broke. Those squeezing through tough milk market times are staying “under the radar&rdquo…

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  • John Vogel

    Big 'To-Do' Over Little Done

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on January 15, 2010

    By now, most dairy farmers have cashed and spent their share of the $290 million economic assistance funds sent to them courtesy of Uncle Sam. In fact, that 32-cents-a-hundredweight was probably “swallowed whole” by the first feed delivery truck on the first morning after the payment arrived.   For news media and consumers not familiar with the dairy business, that $290 million sounds like another huge pile of cash dumped in agriculture’s big trough. But the reality is that the amount each…

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  • John Vogel

    Police Your Own

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on December 7, 2009

    If you’ve seen the latest dairy video expose by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA, for short), you were probably sickened. The clips showed wet manure-covered dairy cattle filmed on a Pennsylvania farm.   Of course, PETA maxed out the publicity value by broadcasting it, trumpeting animal abuse as justification for consumers to go vegan – no meat or dairy products.   It didn’t matter whether the animals were subjected to inadvertent abuse or intentional meanness. As always…

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  • John Vogel

    Dairy Crisis: #1 Concern

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on October 9, 2009

    This week, ag leaders involved in Pennsylvania’s Center for Farm Transition spent a lot of time discussing the dire straits that many dairy farmers are in. And the spokeswoman for New York’s FarmNet program noted that they’re hearing exactly the same.   Ag Department and lending officials estimate that as much as 50% of dairy farmers are in trouble, as defined by having accounts more than 30 or 60 days overdue. One “long-in-the-tooth” Penn Stater acknowledged that he hadn’t seen…

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  • John Vogel

    Step Backwards Into Dairy Profitablity?

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on September 15, 2009

    Not every change termed as progressive is beneficial. While that certainly applies to politics, it also fits farming – particularly dairy farming.   Dairy farmers are getting all kinds of advice today how to make their cows work harder to help them blacken the cash flow bottom line. But as I started looking at Northeast dairy farm financials several months ago, the lack of profitability didn’t appear to be just a milk price problem.   You’re right. I have no claim to being a dairy expert…

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  • John Vogel

    Real Dairy Leaders Needed, Wanted

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on May 19, 2009

    After this afternoon’s teleconference hosted by the National Family Farm Coalition, I’m more convinced than ever: America’s dairy industry is suffering greatly because of the lack of cohesive leadership.   I don’t milk cows. But I do perch in a dairy barn “catbird seat”, and listen to what’s going on.   After hearing three Congressmen say this spring that the dairy industry is so fragmented that “we don’t know who to listen to,” I’m convinced that nothing will be done until the industry…

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