Search the Carroll County community newspaper archives


>> Click here to search for stories published AFTER 2011

>> Use this search box to find stories published prior to 2011.
Note: All Words is a more strict search. Implied operator is "AND."
Ex: Charles Dickens"
From
subscriber services email print comment


The annual Carroll County 4-H and FFA fair, which closed the door on its 2009 run this week, reminds us all that living in Carroll County gives us the right to brag that we have a lot of rural landscape to admire and enjoy.

Yet, with all the bucolic views, there's financial disaster looming at the dairy farm right next door.

You can rest assured that, owning two farms, I read the trade papers. On the original Wolf farm on Ridge Road in Eldersburg, we had a hired hand who lived-in, but it was my chore to be there when he couldn't.

I quickly learned that a cow has to be milked twice a day — and can recall doing it wearing a tuxedo from a prom date.

So that wonderful farm view of cows grazing in a lush pasture has to be tempered with facts. First, the price of 100 pounds of milk sold by dairy farmers in Pennsylvania has fallen from $ 20.30 in June 2008 to $13 in June 2009!

Second, everything a farmer buys has gone up in price. Diesel fuel has skyrocketed, and he's hurt on selling surplus grain. In a slight saving grace, feed costs are a bit lower.

So what keeps dairy farms going and youngsters eager to exit college and jump in the business?

Maybe it's the independence of being able to work 12 hours a day and do it seven days a week!

I know it's insane, but I have a son who has always wanted to do just that. As a youngster he raised prize cattle, and that joy must stay with you. He can not do it now, but I'll bet dollars to doughnuts he will in retirement.

Given that type of passion, there's no wonder those in the dairy business continue to stay in the business ... if they can.

Some areas aren't as lucky. In Louisiana, as one example, dairy farms shrank from 1,025 to 185 between 1981 and now. I assume most stayed in farming, but likely sold off milk cows and their dairy equipment.

In Europe, farmers are more organized and aggressive in trying to maintain prices for agricultural products. At one time in America, we had a farmer/labor union movement. It died from the simple fact that what drives one into farming is independence; the desire to be your boss -- even if you go broke doing it!

Insecurity is the direct opposite of union objectives.

As you drive through Carroll and you see dairy cattle grazing in the field, ask your children to take a good look and remember what they are seeing.

Unless things change, it'll be the story of Louisiana dairies. I'm sure farmers will be here, but dairy farms will be fewer.

Worse, as new people seek Carroll County for a rural residence, many will almost immediately start complaining about farm-related inconveniences — farm equipment on the road, the odor of farm chemicals and fertilizers or the noise and dust of combining.

At one time, Carroll always had at least one farmer as a county commissioner. The last one we had was Donald Dell.

Certain forces made sure he didn't get re-elected, and all of us in Carroll lost. Maybe that will change in the next election cycle, but the pressure the other way is great.

I'll close with what a neighboring farmer said when he caught me doing that milking in a tuxedo.

He didn't say anything for what I'd guess what was a whole minute.

Then he finally said, "Dang! In Future Farmers they told us to comb, wash and groom our cattle, but they never said anything about that."


user comments (0)


Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Baltimore Sun: Baltimore breaking news, sports, business, entertainment, weather and traffic
xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Learn more about subscriptions
Learn more about subscriptions
Advertisement
Shopping patterns established during the COVID pandemic are here to stay, experts say, with further growth expected in home delivery, curbside pickup and online subscriptions of everything from pet food to coffee.
The attorney for Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Thursday the Criminal Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice is pursuing perjury charges against her for her signature on documents.
Advertisement
Meet four young Baltimore-based activists that pivoted during the pandemic to continue to fight for racial and gender equity.
President Joe Biden will participate in a televised town hall in Baltimore on Thursday night. It will be his first visit to the city as chief executive. While details are still being finalized, here is what we know.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced Thursday that he will not run for re-election next year and will instead retire after two terms in the post.
Diana Toebbe of Annapolis, who is charged along with her husband, Jonathan, in a plot to sell submarine secrets to a foreign country, must remain behind bars after a judge on Thursday determined she was a flight risk and a danger to national security.
Comic book lovers and collectors alike will have the opportunity this weekend to see rare items and props, such as actor Chris Evans’ Captain America shield from the “Avengers: End Game” movie and hear from the likes of Marvel comic book artist Joe Quesada at the 22nd annual Baltimore Comic-Con at the Baltimore Convention Center.
Advertisement
Advertisement
To identify the best cities to live in, 24/7 Wall St. used data from the Census Bureau, FBI and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create a weighted index of 25 measures across four categories: affordability, economy, quality of life and community.
Wilson's time at the NSA took her from the American embassy in London, where she countered terrorist threats to the 2012 Olympic Games, to Maryland’s Fort Meade, where she addressed terrorist threats to the U.S.
Western Maryland state lawmakers have sent letters to officials in West Virginia, asking them to “consider adding us as constituent counties to the State of West Virginia.”
The Ravens thought 2020 first-round pick Patrick Queen would be their next star at middle linebacker, but they turned to a familiar face, Josh Bynes, to bring stability to the position against the Los Angeles Chargers.
It’s the time of year when some of us are craving a good scare. Fortunately for us, Baltimore is home to many spooky stories.
About 56% Baltimore’s city employees have complied with the city’s requirement to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, city leaders reported Wednesday three days after the requirement went into effect.
A 41-year-old Baltimore County man faces federal wire fraud and theft of government property charges as prosecutors say he illegally collected more than $1 million in disability benefits while pretending to be a paraplegic for years.
A Baltimore Police officer assigned to the internal affairs unit is suing the department, alleging he was discriminated against and was wrongly accused of leaking information to the target of an administrative investigation.
Advertisement

Free Fun & Games

  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Daily Crossword
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Jumble Daily in color
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Daily Solitaire
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Bubble Shooter HD
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    2020 Connect
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Cookie Crush
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Butterfly Kyodai
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Classic Mahjong
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Daily Sudoku
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

The Baltimore Sun Store

Advertisement

GAMES & TRIVIA

Advertisement