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Markets, Albany, N. Ei mira, N. Y.------- Forleting Committee,
Roberts, Frank W., secretary, Connecticut Vegetable Growers Asso
ciation, Middletown, Conn.---
Assn. Inc., Woodridge, N. Y..
culture, Toms River, N. J.--
Inc., and president, Mutual Federation of Independent Coopera
tives, Inc., Cobleskill, N. Y.-----
--Smith, Harold J., president, Bellows Falls Cooperative Creamery,
Cuttingsville, Vt -
ciation, Inc., Woodridge, N. Y.--
ciation, Inc., Canastota, N.'Y.--
Ogdensburg, N. Y.-------------------
Growers Association, North Hartland, Vt---
Inc., Syracuse, N. Y.----
Farmingdale, Freehold, N. J.----
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 1955
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Montpelier, Vt. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:00 o'clock a. m., in the House of Represetatives room, State Capitol Building, Senator Allen J. Ellender (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Ellender, Holland, and Aiken.
I have before me a list of witnesses numbering a little over 60, and I want to give assurance that this committee will make every effort to hear all of you.
As I indicated last night to some of you, I wish that the witnesses present would listen to the testimony and try to omit as much duplication as possible as we go along. In that way I am sure that we will be able to hear everybody. The list that I have before me was sent out of Washington by one of our secretaries and that was made up from a list of witnesses who desired to be heard, who wrote in to our committee. And as they wrote in, their names were placed on the list. I am using that list but I wish to say that in order to try to get as many of the witnesses who represent particular groups to testify, I may have to skip around a little bit to have them in order. However, if I do overlook some of you at first, I will come back to the list.
We have people from Maine interested in potato growing, which is an important segment of their economy. Then we have the dairy people. And we have the small grain and poultry people.
We will make every effort, as I said, to give all of those who represent those various commodities an opportunity to have their say.
I was informed by the clerk of the committee that by calling the head of, let us say, the dairy group, that 1 will speak for 2 or 3 or 4 who have given in their names. And if I am correct in that, that will, of course, eliminate the testimony of quite a few witnesses who are on this list, but my suggestion is that the witnesses in that group make themselves available, so that in the event that this committee desires to ask questions, for that purpose.
Another thing I wish to state is this, do not be guided by the tone of the questions that the members of the committee ask you. We do not want to be judged by the questions we ask as to our views on any particular subject. If a witness takes the negative or the affirmative on the question, we will just take the reverse of what he does in order to bring out all the facts. That is the only reason why that is being done.
The first person I have on this is Mr. Henry Stafford of Bethel, Vt.
I understand that you represent, aside from yourself, others in your statement.
How many are there in your group?
The CHAIRMAN. Please give the names of the people who are on the list whom you represent and talk for?
STATEMENT OF HENRY STAFFORD, CHAIRMAN, DAIRY COOPERA
TIVE MARKETING COMMITTEE, BETHEL, VT.
Mr. STAFFORD. Mr. Chairman. My name is Henry Stafford of Bethel, Vt. I am a dairy farmer with 30 milking cows; a director of the Bethel Cooperative Creamery; and have been a supervisor of the White River Soil Conservation District for the past 12 years.
At a meeting of the Dairy Cooperatives of New England, held early in September, a committee was named to prepare testimony for presentation before your committee.
As chairman of that committee, I would like to present eight farmers who will cover certain phases of the dairy industry here in New England. These men are operating farmers and are well qualified from experience to know the problems of producing and marketing of milk. They represent cooperatives with producer members of 9,000—threefourths of all those shipping to the Boston milkshed. Their subjects are interrelated, so that many questions you have in mind early in the meeting may be answered in later testimony.
1. Earl Ň. Gray, Morrisville, Vt., a dairyman and president of United Farmers of New England, Inc.-Federal Milk Order No. 4.
2. J. Leo Edson, Plainfield, Vt., a dairyman and president of New England Milk Producers Association, Inc.—milk promotion program.
3. Park Newton, Georgia, Vt., a dairyman, a member of the Vermont Dairy Industry Commission, a director of the Cooperative Credit and an agricultural stabilization program committeeman-Federal milk programs.
4. Mr. L. E. Griggs, Morrisville, Vt., a dairyman and president of Northern Farms, Inc. - Honest labeling of foods which may be substitutes for dairy products.
5. Harold Smith, Cuttingsville, Vt., a dairyman and president of Bellows Falls Cooperative Dairy research.
6. Marvin Clark, Williston, Vt., a dairyman and president of Richmond Cooperative Creamery—Disease control program.
7. Donald L. Smith, orchardist, and the executive secretary of the Vermont Cooperative Council—The cooperatives' role in agriculture.
8. Harry Varney, Jr., Shelburne, Vt., dairyman-Price supports; Government controls and general Federal agricultural policies.
The CHAIRMAN. I misunderstood the clerk of the committee. I thought that you represented all of them, that you would do the talking for all of them. Do I understand that each one is to talk on the subjects that you have just mentioned ? Mr. STAFFORD. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. I believe that this committee is fairly well acquainted with what the problem is. What we are seeking is a solution of it. That is what we are trying to do. That is what we are looking Mr. STAFFORD. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. If all of these witnesses testify, I hope that they do confine their testimony to that which we can do in order to alleviate the conditions that they say exist, and to suggest ways and means of doing that. That is what I am hopeful will be done. Do you understand? Mr. STAFFORD. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. The statement that one represented all I misunderstood. That is what I understood the clerk to say with whom you spoke a while ago. It turns out that all of the witnesses want to be heard on these various subjects.
I can point out that a fw of the subjects probably have to do with the conditions and the problems here. Mr. STAFFORD. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. Please, in as few words as possible, state what the problem is, if it is anything peculiar to the dairy industry here, and then give the solution to it.
Mr. STAFFORD. I believe you will find in the testimony that they will hit the highlights.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Give your name in full for the record, please, and your occupation. STATEMENT OF EARL N. GRAY, PRESIDENT, UNITED FARMERS OF
NEW ENGLAND, INC., MORRISVILLE, VT.
Mr. GRAY. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, my name is Earl N. Gray. I am a dairy farmer living in Morrisville, Vt. This morning I delivered 1147 pounds of grade A milk to the creamery. I am also president of United Farmers of New England, Inc., an operating cooperative with approximately 2,100 members located in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, who distribute their products in the Greater Boston, Mass., market.
Vermont is an important dairy State. According to the latest figures, we have 457,000 dairy cattle as compared to only 383,000 people. Seventy percent of the milk sold to the 2,200,000 people in Greater Boston comes from Vermont. We are convinced that Federal Milk Order No. 4 is an absolute essential if we are to maintain sound dairy markets here in New England. This order has operated successfully for the past 20 years and has proven to be fair to both consumer and producer.
Back in 1933 before this order was established the dairymen here in New England were faced with ruin. During the period February through May of 1933, the farmers in this area averaged to receive only $1.16, with one company paying as low as 70 cents per hundredweight. I am well acquainted with the conditions this created, both on my own farm and among my neighbors. It is a catastrophe that we hope to avoid in the future. There are a little over 12,000 dairy farmers producing milk for the Boston market. If they are to supply the changing demands of their customers 365 days a year and allow for necessary changes in production from season to season, reserve supplies of milk must be maintained. Our Federal order simply guarantees that the milk sold for fluid use and the reserve supplies are divided fairly among us. Our distributors pay for milk according to the purpose for which they use it. We farmers receive a uni