Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
510 S. 31st Street , Camp Hill, PA 17001 • 717.761.2740• Email • @pfbmediaone
For Immediate Release: June 3, 2019
(Camp Hill) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) expressed disappointment with a decision by Governor Wolf to veto House Bill 915, which would have provided an exemption for milk truck haulers to operate during weather-related commercial travel bans.
The bill, sponsored by Representative Martin Causer, would have provided a specific and limited exemption that applied only on milk being transported from farms to processing facilities.
“Milk produced on the farm is highly perishable and needs to get to a processing plant within a reasonable time. Dairy farmers have limited on-farm storage and when their bulk tanks are full, they need to be emptied by a milk hauler. If the hauler is not available, all excess milk must be dumped,” said PFB President Rick Ebert. “Farmers lose thousands of dollars in revenue every time they are forced to dump their milk.”
Farm Bureau understands the need to protect public safety during serious storms with restrictions on commercial hauling. Milk truck haulers, however, are accustomed to driving in poor weather conditions and operate their trucks with tire chains, winter tires and other safety gear that might not be present on other commercial trucks. In addition, there were several instances in 2019 alone, where statewide commercial travel bans were put in place as a precaution, but weather conditions did not merit the designation.
“There are legitimate instances when commercial and other vehicles should not be traveling on roadways due to severe weather events and we believe that milk truck haulers (and the companies who employ them) would use commonsense when determining whether or not to travel to a farm based on weather and road conditions,” added Ebert.
PFB notes that sudden and absolute bans on transporting milk during weather events can place an added burden on farm families.
“Dairy farmers need compensation for every gallon of milk they produce if they plan to recover from five consecutive years of depressed milk prices,” concluded Ebert.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization,
representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.