Op Ed Rebuttal to The Observer
To the Observer:
Read with interest "Let's Not Cry Over Spilt Milk," ( Observer April 15, ) rebutting my op-ed: "Schumer Has No Fix For Dairy Woes," (The Observer, April 1st.)
The Chautauqua County Farm Bureau President accuses me of hypocrisy and attributes this to remarks I never made and a position I have never held: that yogurt processors "guarantee dairy farmers an artificially high price and a perpetual market." His assertion is a blatant falsehood. I challenge him to demonstrate anywhere in my remarks of April 1st, (or anywhere else,) I have ever advocated such an absurd position.
Likewise, never did I ever advocate waiting for demand for yogurt milk to "peak" before New York dairymen begin to respond to the future milk needs of yogurt processors. However, failing to await clear demand signals and unilaterally increasing milk production would be a recipe for ruin for state dairymen. Any increased demand for yogurt milk will develop over time. Pepsico has announced its Batavia, (N.Y.) Wave Plant will come on line over several years of structured development; prudent New York dairy farmers will have ample time to gauge demand and sensibly adjust their production to the developing market.
Apparently the county Farm Bureau President is not aware significant amounts of New York milk had to be dumped over the Easter weekend because the state milk supply exceeded processing plant capacity. If current state milk production levels hold or increase this will continue and possibly even escalate. This is a dead loss to New York dairy farmers; despite the recent blatherings of New York's senior senator, does this point to any need for increased state milk production in the near future? Hardly. When the need is there, history shows New York's dairy farmers will step up milk production quite nicely even without Sen. Schumer or federal taxpayer money.
While the President of the Chautauqua County Farm Bureau has a right to his own opinion, he certainly has no right to attribute statements to me I did not make, or positions on issues to me I do not hold. As Farm Bureau President he has a heightened responsibility to his membership to speak only to the facts, not his erroneous or wishful personal interpretation of them.