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Therefore, gentlemen, I would like to propose an ever normal storage plan in the soil, or a soil bank upon which our future generation can draw.
It is an established fact that we have wasted our soil resources.
I believe that this team should get together at once and conceive a program that is fair, just, and workable in the public interest as well as the farmer.
The land in this team being the silent partner, must, however, be represented by the other 2 members of the team on a basis of 1 goal (land and crops) or (crops and land) and thus whatever the cost, we can adjust our production.
The CHAIRMAX. Mrs. Robinson? Give your name, please.
STATEMENT OF MRS. R. B. ROBINSON, LITTLETON, N. C. Mrs. ROBINSON. I am a farm woman, a great, great, great granddaughter of a gentleman who was once presented the loving cup by the Governor of Virginia for the greatest improvement made in the growing of tobacco. I live on a farm consisting of a hundred acres; 56 acres open land in cultivation. We have a farm family of 11 members on that farm. Mr. Robinson and myself have to derive our support from that. The acreage is 3.5 acres of tobacco, 7 acres of cotton, 7.4 acres of peanuts.
We supplemented that income with cucumbers for the past few years. We are very grateful for living in the section of North Carolina that we can diversify our crops. Again I would like to say that home demonstration markets have played a major part in supplementing their income. I was asked to come here to give the opinions of the small tobacco growing families in my surrounding county. You may ask, and rightly so, how does this farm woman go about getting these opinions? And my answer is, by having worked and been closely associated with the home demonstration work since coming to North Carolina in 1917.
We feel that in Halifax County we are opposed to the 20 percent cut straight across the board in our tobacco allotments. This policy, as it has been followed in the past and is now proposed again, is forcing our small farmers out of existence. It is forcing some of our best young farmers, most of whom were veterans, to seek employment elsewhere. These young men want to stay on the farm but in most cases there is just not enough crop allotment to support the parents who still own the farm and the son and the son-in-law who would like to make this his home on the family farm, since it will some day be his own.
Gentlemen, these farmers, some of them, are men who fought and still suffer the effects of war that you and I might enjoy the prosperity and freedom of today. So let us not forget them.
Now, what we ask is that we would like to see a minimum farm allotment set which would justify the operation of at least one curing barn. This minimum allotment should be we feel about 4 acres. This would help protect our small farmers and help them to maintain at least a decent standard of living.
I thank you, gentlemen, for giving me this time.
All right, Mr. McDowell, please. Please give your full name and your occupation.
STATEMENT OF FRANK H. MCDOWELL, ASSISTANT MANAGER,
CAROLINA MILK PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION, GREENSBORO, N. C.
Mr. McDoWELL. I am Frank H. McDowell, assistant manager of the Carolina Milk Producers Association at Greensboro. I am sorry our president and manager couldn't be here today, particularly with regard to our president, because we would have liked for him to have spoken as a dairy farmer rather than myself, as an employee of the association.
The CHAIRMAX. Do you represent him?
Mr. McDOWELL. Yes, sir; I represent the president and some 1,400 members that we have who are grade A dairymen in the Piedmont or central portion of our State.
The CHAIRMAN. Proceed.
Mr. McDOWELL. We know that you have heard a lot of testimony in the dairy areas, particularly, and that you will hear more when you go into the New York area of the problems of the dairy farmers.
The CHAIRMAN. Vermont, too.
Mr. McDOWELL. Yes. We would like to express our opinons on some of these issues and we believe them to be the opinions of our members.
Before doing that, and the first part of our testimony describes briefly our industry and we think that is important because it is different than that of the other of the major milk producing areas. First we are primarily a fluid milk area.
The CHAIRMAN. We have had testimony on that issue.
Mr. McDowell. I am sure you have, sir, but in one respect we are different from some of the other Southern States because we have made more growth. We have problems here in this State that are different than they are throughout the country and the position that our farmers would take is somewhat different than the position of the dairymen in the Midwest, for example.
The CHAIRMAN. Any different from what others would take in your own State?
Mr. McDOWELL. Sir?
The CHAIRMAN. Are the suggestions you are going to make different from those that will be made by other dairymen in your State!
Mr. McDOWELL. We think we represent the overall opinion of the dairymen.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you state what you have in mind, please?
Mr. McDoWELL. The primary thing is, as I stated, that we are essentially a fluid milk State. The distribution on the distribution side is essentially in the fluid milk industry. With the exception of the processing and distribution of ice cream, which is a major item in this State, we rank 14th in that regard. Of course we are proud of that. So far as manufactured milk is concerned, we have very little of the processed and very little cheese and butter or dry milk solids has gone into storage from this State.
The trend is upward insofar as milk is concerned, cow numbers have been over the last several years, the records will show, have changed in cyclical periods of 4 to 6 years, we are apparently now on the down slope of a change. We have been to a peak and cow numbers
are on the decrease. We have low production per cow. We have few cows per farm. We have few markets particularly for manufactured milk, which presents a grave problem for the dairy industry in this State.
Our grade A prices have been high-that is, for fluid milk-compared with other areas. They have been down some in the last year or two, cash receipts have been up because the volume of grade A milk increased. Whereas we have made most growth in overall production of all milk, there has been a tremendous increase in fluid milk production and sales in this State, last year the volume was 50 percent higher than 5 years ago, 3 times higher than it was in 1947.
The CHAIRMAN. If I am to judge from what you are stating there your industry seems to be in a pretty good position.
Mr. McDOWELL. Yes, sir; on the whole.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any suggestions to make except to give to the committee your healthy condition?
Mr. McDowELL. We have.
The CHAIRMAN. Any suggestions for legislation? That is what we are here for.
Mr. McDOWELL. Yes, sir; I believe that the time is justified to try to show what the condition is and the differences that are in our State.
There is one comment that with regard to some outside opinions about our industry here in the State, that we read and that we hear a great deal about, and I have some testimony and I won't go over it all, with regard to it. There seems to be an opinion that we are free of problems here in this State and our prices are high and that profits are excessive and that milk is excluded from other areas. That is not true because we have imported milk every year since World War II days, almost every month.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any restrictions at all to the importation of milk to the State?
Mr. McDOWELL. If it is to be used for fluid use it must meet certain health standards.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. You can keep it out by providing that those standards be met.
Mr. McDoWELL. We haven't because we need it.
The CHAIRMAN. You better not tell that to Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Mr. McDowell. That is why we have it in this testimony to show in the record we have imported milk. The record also shows, sir, that over the past several years our prices have not been as high as they appear to be and with some exceptions our prices for milk for fluid use have not been as high as the price for Wisconsin milk laid down in North Carolina.
I have enumerated for the record some of our problems which are somewhat peculiar to this State. One in particular is low per capita consumption of milk. So far as urban and rural nonfarm people making up about two-thirds of our population consumption of fluid milk is about two-thirds of the national average, and that is a serious problem. This problem of providing markets for manufactured milk.
Now for our statement on some specific issues, some have already been mentioned, the special school-milk program, that has been a tremendous help here to us and certainly we ask that it be continued.
The surplus disposal programs we think are important. Our
schools and our institutions and welfare families and of course the disposal to foreign countries, I believe, I am correct in stating roughly that all the products bought by Commodity Credit have been disposed of through those channels. We think there is a possibility of broaden! ing the scope of surplus disposal to low-income families, but we think that needs further study.
We have several military bases in our area and we know what the stepped-up use of milk to the military and veterans' institutions has meant to our markets and we know that is true throughout the country.
We know that the accelerated brucellosis program has helped remove diseased cows and reduced cow population and that will help to relieve the surplus.
With regard to price supports, as I said earlier, very little dairy products have ever gone into storage from North Carolina so the pricesupport program affects us only indirectly.
Since our work and our problems have been in another direction, our organization has never discussed the support program with our dairy farmers. However, they are acquainted with these other programs of other commodities and I think that if a poll was taken they would be in support of at least 90 percent of parity.
So far as we know, no one has ever discussed the program with the manufacturing producers to any length because they are scattered and small. When you talk about higher support on dairy, the question of crop control or control of milk production always comes up: We think that our farmers, at least on the first thought of it, would support controlled production of milk, but we also are of the opinion that after they understood all of the applications and understood that we here in this State and in the Southeast would probably have a base established on somewhat lower level than we have now, our farmers would probably be in opposition to it. They would certainly be in opposition to it if they believed that under such program they couldn't increase their cows or would endanger the program by increasing production per cow. But that is simply what we think that the opinion of the dairymen is on it.
We think that somewhat higher supports are needed for milk, of course it is expressed in purchase price of commodities. We think that it can be justified on 2 reasons or 2 accounts. First is even without production controls the amount of surplus has never been out of the bounds of reason, it never exceeded 8 percent of total year's supply. That was the highest even with 90 percent support. The CHAIRMAN. You mean nationwide ?
Mr. McDOWELL. Yes, sir; so far as this State is concerned it is very, very little.
Another reason is that we think that higher supports on dairy is needed to keep the dairy in line with the rest of agriculture. We know that is somewhat of a debatable question but we know that you can get a lot of testimony on that.
One other point, and that is on research and education. Our dairymen, and Senator Scott was a part of it, helped set up a reserve program in this State through a dairy foundation to expand the research and service program of our natural industry department at State college. That has meant a great deal and I think that shows how much our farmers are in support of education and research. So the
continued support of all of the Federal programs and perhaps expansion in research and in education, consumer education in particular, we think would be of some benefit.
*There has been a lot of testimony today with regard to the soil. bank of soil-fertility program. I would like to call it to the attention of the committee, that that program so far as the livestock farmer is concerned, and so far as the dairymen, might bring on some problems because if the land is to be conserved it would have to have a cover crop, probably a forage crop, and you might have the same thing we have with diversified acres because it would be a tremendous problem to try to police the use of that land.
As you know, Senator, the National Milk Producers Federation, of which we are a part, have proposed a self-help program, so-called.
The CHAIRMAN. I am glad you said so-called, because it isn't selfhelp.
Mr. McDoWELL. We have never discussed that with our farmers because our problems as I said a while ago have not been in surplus commodities of butter and cheese and powder. We don't know how they would react to it. I have my personal, I think I know how they would react since we are fluid-milk producers, we would react
The CHAIRMAN. In the negative.
The CHAIRMAN. Not only that, but this so-called self-help program envisioned by some of the dairy people provides for the creation of a board with legislative power to control the distribution of every drop of milk produced in the country and in addition to that this board would expect your Government and my Government to make available to them without security a half billion dollars. Now, if that is self-help, I don't know what is self-help.
Mr. McDOWELL. I am not offering testimony on it. The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. Mr. McDOWELL. Thank you, sir. (Mr. McDowell's prepared statement follows:) The Carolina Milk Producers Association Cooperative, Inc., is a bargaining association of about 1,400 grade A milk producers. Our office is located in Greensboro, N. C., and our members are located throughout the Piedmont or central section of the State. We have a few members in Virginia and a few in South Carolina who ship to North Carolina markets.
We know that you have already held several hearings throughout the country, and without question, you have heard testimony regarding the problems of dairy farmers in the major milk-producing areas. However, we would like to tell you something about the dairy industry in our State, and present our views. which may differ from those of other areas, on some issues, and we certainly appreciate this opportunity of presenting testimony to this committee.
Believing that a description of the dairy industry of our State would be worthwhile, the first part of our statement is devoted to that purpose. Data is given relative to the nature, size, and trends of the dairy industry. Some of our problems are pointed up. Moreover, in describing our industry and presenting our problems, we hope to correct some of the mistaken opinions and ideas which have been expressed in some quarters regarding the dairy industry of our State and of the Southeast in general.
The second portion of our statement deals with some of the questions of national interest, particularly those questions which have a direct bearing on our industry.