HOW WE MET: During the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, I volunteered to help at PennAg Industries Association’s food booth.
PennAg invited several legislators from the nearby state capitol to visit the Farm Show and to see the organization’s new “Today’s Agriculture” display. I thought it would be interesting to hear how someone involved in politics views the dairy industry.
Research Analyst for House Majority Whip Stanley E. Saylor
When was the last time you visited a farm?
Last October. My friend has a pumpkin patch.
What dairy products do you most frequently buy?
Mostly milk and cheese. I like trying different kinds of cheese, especially brie. The more unique it is, the better.
Why do you consume dairy products?
It’s really just personal preference. I’d prefer to drink whole milk, but I’ve switched to 1 percent so that I’m still getting high protein without a lot of fat. As far as cheese, I mainly just go with what tastes good.
How many gallons of milk do you buy every month?
Two gallons per month.
What is a good deal for a gallon of milk?
I’m one of those consumers that just buy it. I don’t pay attention to the price of milk. If I need it, I know I need it, so I just buy it.
How much is too much to pay for a gallon of milk?
What is your favorite or most frequent time or place to consume dairy products?
I’d say summertime, especially when I’m visiting the beach. Even though I’m older, I still hit up the ice cream man.
What is your favorite dairy brand?
I typically buy Rutter’s milk because it’s a York County dairy. I try to support local farmers. I also really like Edy’s Ice Cream because I’m a big ice cream person.
If you were one-on-one with a dairy farmer, what question would you ask him or her?
How has the dairy industry, especially the day-to-day work on the farm, changed since they were a kid? Do they like how it’s changed, or do they wish it was still like how it was when they were growing up?
What word would you use to describe the work of a dairy farmer?
I’ve always heard that it’s just a very hard life. They have to get up in the middle of the night sometimes, and they’re always early to rise and late to bed. I know that’s typical with most farmers, but especially true with dairy farmers.
Positive industry image?
It reinforces that idea of the rugged, American individual. They make their money literally from the labor of their own hands.
Negative industry image?
I don’t agree with the image, but I’ve seen the industry portrayed as a corporate, industrial farm where the animals are treated strictly as a commodity.
Who do you trust for information about your food?
I’d say FDA reports or anything from the Pennsylvania Department of Health or Department of Agriculture. Really any government entity charged with the inspection of food. PD
How many cows are there in the average herd in your state?
Correct answer: 74