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E DITOR Dairy farmers need to adapt to survive COVID

To the editor: Just as dairy farmers were looking forward to a decent, even profitable milk price in 2020, along comes COVID-19 to possibly destroy all hopes.

Dairy farmers spend all the money they can make, supporting local businesses. Over the last 20 some years surviving ones found ways to beat out the competition. The use of better genetics, feeding and cow comfort has created more milk, more milk. It’s what they are good at to their own financial demise.

The banks have also over-loaned money for farm expansions during relative “good” milk price times in history. Interest for life for many.

The markets go up and down. Save in good times to buy out the smaller neighboring farm in bad times. There has been basically 9.2 million cows milking for 20 years in the U.S. Butter and cheese is traded globally so that comes into play also. In 1994 the national herd production per cow was 56 pounds per day. Now it’s about 76, with roughly 9.36 million cows on fewer but much bigger “factory corporate” farms, as some advocates call them. Many are now owned by cheese and butter processors.

Walmart has built their own bottling plant to remove a middle man or two. It is a tough business for the farmer now with a fine line profit margin.

My dad had a saying: “Independence is the farmers’ greatest strength, but their greatest weakness.” The inability for all to get together and agree how to control supply and demand.

Cranberry farmers can can as many berries as they want to maintain a profit. In the past, some farmers have voluntarily dumped milk, which is called a “milk strike.” The processors get pissed and threaten to stop picking up the striking farmers’ milk. There are plenty of cows so one or two dropped farms won’t hurt cheese or butter supply. It is a rat race.

I’ve been advocating for a profitable price since 2000. It’s a vicious circle of money up and money down, good and stupid. If the dairy farm community crashes again, there is likely to be a real recession again. In 1980, during the last “farm depression,” the farmers received 40 cents of the retail dollar. Now it is down to 19 cents of each dollar the consumer spends. The grocery store, distributor and processors divide up the rest.

Hopefully something good will come out of COVID-19 for the .2 percent of population that works seven days a week. Now rBst-free milk comes to you from one of God’s greatest creations, the dairy cows.

Walter Schuette


President Trump is not setting a good example

To the editor: The secretary of defense has instructed all American military personnel to wear face masks when on duty.

Deborah Birx, President Trump’s coronavirus response coordinator, asked all Americans to wear face masks when they are outside their home.

Dr. Fauci, one of the world’s top infectious disease scientists, said the coronavirus is spread by coughing, sneezing and simply speaking, and wearing face masks is critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19.

When asked at his Friday press briefing if he would wear a face mask, the president responded, “I don’t think I’m going to be doing it.” When asked again at his Sunday press conference, he said, “I would if I thought it was important.”

Americans should be able to look to their president to set an example. This is one of many examples of how this president is putting the health of all Americans at risk.

Maxine Luchterhand


Stop defending Trump, incompetent Republicans

To the editor: Mr. Kampfhamer, once again you have put forth your ignorant and irresponsible rhetoric. All you do is piss and moan about Democrats doing their job. You seem to think that if Democrats would just roll over and be Republicans everything would be right with the world. Nancy Pelosi is the second most powerful politician in America, an honor granted her by the voters of this country. Pelosi exercised her power and displayed her leadership by cutting a deal with the Republicans on behalf of her constituents. A deal that aims to protect the most vulnerable people of this country, not corporate fat cats.

This is basic DC politics. Republicans did it to Obama when he faced a similar crisis. Nothing new here. Meanwhile, this administration refuses to open enrollment to health care, even after insurance companies advised him to do so. Surely more people that sign up will not get the virus than the ones that will. This seems like a no-brainer.

I find it ironic that on the day it was announced that relief checks would be sent out, social media exploded with Trump supporters pointing out that anti-Trumpers don’t deserve checks,when in fact the opposite is more correct. The GOP is all about cutting social entitlements. Mr. Kampfhamer, will you be returning your check to the government?

Clearly you have chosen to completely ignore Mr. Luchterhand’s letter when he presented a detailed timeline of the failures of this administration’s actions addressing the current crisis.

Instead you, like the Great Cheeto in the White House, choose to irresponsibly blame Obama. Apparently the buck stopped with Obama three years ago and has been missing in action ever since. The Cheeto has been president for more than three years, plenty of time to make corrections. Yet he continues to say “I take no responsibility.”

Now Mitch McConnell is saying he was distracted by impeachment. This is really an admission of a lack of leadership skills; clearly we are a nation without a leader. Maybe if the Cheeto didn’t spend his time pushing out tons of tweets, and rambling on Fox News for hours and watching TV to see how he’s doing, he might actually find time to do his job.

The GOP, the party of law and order. Some Republican states have chosen to exploit the current crisis to illegally oppress the rights given to all women of this country by the Constitution and deny them healthcare. By claiming that the time-sensitive procedure of abortion be declared non-essential, these states are openly defying their obligations to the Constitution. I am sure you are pleased with this move as it satisfies your ultimate agenda; however, it exposes your own hypocrisy. The party of law and order, but only the laws you agree with.

Maybe you don’t understand what the term “open borders” really means. We have open borders within our country. You are free to go to any state you want. If you want to move to another state, then just move there. This simply is not going to happen at international borders and it is irresponsible and ignorant that you promote this rhetoric. Worth noting here is the massive shortage of migrant workers needed to pick produce crops in the coming weeks. Farmers in this country depend on migrants and immigrants because domestic workers just don’t do it.

You also like to make the claim that Democrats are going to take away our guns. Do you think gun ownership is exclusive to Republicans? I am reminded of the cliche “...they can have it when they pry it from my cold dead fingers.” One can imagine more Americans willing to die and take as many with them than those willing to take them. Again, not going to happen.

Mr. Wokatsch, I never called you the village idiot,t hat honor belongs to a fine lady that is far more familiar with your ramblings than I. If you’ll recall in my previous letter I dismissed you in the first paragraph when I labeled you as “a lost cause” and addressed my letter to anyone who “considers themselves capable of objective, reasonable, and logical thought.” If later in the letter you recognized yourself as the “village idiot,” well then, that’s on you, isn’t it?

Ron Gutenberger