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By Staff
Dairy farmers must support CWT
Editor,
As a dairy farmer in Morgan County and a director of Dairy Farmers of America, I would like to share my views about the current dismal economic condition of the dairy industry in Alabama and the Southeast. I would offer a solution to help alleviate the situation.
Dairy farm families in the Southeast know only too well how difficult it has been to pay the bills. Milk prices at the farm level continue to be at historic lows. Farm gate prices have been below cost of production in the Southeast for 20 consecutive months (November 2001-June 2003).
The U.S. dairy industry is currently in the middle of a historic price drought with milk prices at 25-year lows. Many factors, including increased production, a slowdown in demand, increased imports and inefficient government programs, have contributed to the current condition.
The situation must stop, but we can't rely on a federal policy decision to correct the circumstances. With current budget deficits and a focus on post-war efforts, policy makers don't even have a supply-management program for dairy on their radar screens for 2003.
Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) is a farmer-led and farmer-funded national program to address the supply and demand imbalance that has depressed milk prices. CWT's objective is to help strengthen and stabilize producer prices for a minimum of 12 months. CWT's goal during the next year is to balance supply with demand. More specifically, the goal is to reduce national milk supplies by 27 percent.
Dairy farmers must take control over their own destinies. By working together to support CWT we can help to balance milk supply and demand through three sensible steps-herd reduction, reduced milk marketing, and an export incentive program.
CWT is a good solution. It is farmer-led and farmer-funded. Most of all, it will work if we all will support it. Customers will have plenty of milk to meet and exceed the needs of customers, and dairy farm families will be better to able to pay their bills. Everyone wins.
Dairy farmers have two choices: We can help ourselves solve a problem through CWT, or we can do nothing and continue to suffer the economic consequences.
It's time to take action. I urge all dairy farmers to take action and support CWT.
Mickey Childers
Dairy Farmer
Somerville
Former resident recalls Teen Town
Editor,
To all Teen Town Citizens:
Pardon me if I have awakened precious memories of those days long ago when you were young and bubbling over with untiring energy, but I have some things on my heart that I need to share with you.
Every since I saw you last at the 1950s reunion in the year 2000, I have been counting the days until I see you and talk with you again in the year 2005. If we should be lucky enough to live that long, 1,825 days will have passed since I touched your hands, gave you a big hug and shared old precious memories with you.
I have been looking forward to the next one ever since the last one, but lately I have been having a strange, haunting foreboding that it is entirely possible that I may not live that long. God has already let me live for 86 wonderful years; far more than I every expected. Recently, I had to have a stint put into one of my arteries around my heart but outside that, I am in pretty good health. I don't feel a day over 84.
Sometime way back yonder I read "if you do not have some great cause to give your life to, you will fritter your life away in thousands of meaningless activities, signifying nothing." Well, as I look back over the years of my life, you were my greatest cause.
My heart swells with such warm sensations when I think of all the good times we had together. Starting out from scratch, I believe it was in Miss Lizzie Reed Penn's classroom (or it may have been in the auditorium) to having over 200 citizens. We overcame obstacle after obstacle to become the most famous youth group in Alabama. I am so thankful for you.
I am sending a copy of this letter to Joe and Rhona Summerford, and just in case God calls me before the 2005 reunion, I am asking them to read it at that time, since some of you may have missed it in the paper.
I would cherish hearing from you, so just in case you want to drop me a line, our address is P.O. Box 722, Polk City, Fla., 33868-0722 and, if you come this way on vacation, call me at 863-984-1100 and I will give you directions to our home.
May God bless you and please remember that I love every one of you a little bit.
Tom Hatchett
Polk City, Fla.

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