Friday, July 21, 2006

The Elephant in the Corner

Gary Hanman, former president and CEO of Dairy Farmers of America and perhaps the most powerful man in the dairy business, sat virtually unnoticed in the back corner of the Senate Agricultural Committee hearing room this Thursday. Well, unnoticed until Chairman Saxby Chambliss pointed him out by name as his “long-time personal friend.” It struck me afterwards that the presence of giant dairy cooperatives and their powerful impact on the dairy industry went similarly unnoticed and unmentioned throughout the two hour hearing, while the USDA, milk producers and processors testified on problems facing dairy farmers in preparation for the 2007 Farm Bill.

The USDA testimony led off with a history of the changing structure of the U.S. dairy industry. Given the enormous effects of market consolidation and vertical integration by cooperatives like DFA, it would make sense to include this economic information here, right? If only as a historical fact? Instead the USDA cloaked this industry change and the resulting loss of small to medium-sized dairy farms in euphemisms like “increased economies of size.” The number of U.S. dairy farms dropped 70 percent between 1980 and 2003. The USDA chalks up this loss to “advances in technology and improvements in productivity.” The government’s Get-Big-Or-Get-Out chorus may be singing different lyrics, but the tune is all too familiar.

A significant focus of the hearing was on the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, and the impact that its payments have had on keeping small-medium operations in the marketplace. The USDA’s analysis of the program boiled down to this: don’t judge the program by the exit of small to medium sized farms from the marketplace. They will continue to leave and there’s nothing that the MILC program or any other USDA policy will do to stop it. In fact, according to the Department’s chief economist, “federal dairy policy will likely have only minor effects on these structural changes.” But they don’t explain why that has to be the case.

It’s not that federal policy can’t have an effect on those structural changes that force out smaller farmers. It’s not a given that the federal government has to stand by while agribusiness entities consolidate and consume larger and larger shares of the dairy market, destroying competition. But under this administration, policy won’t have an effect unless Congress awakes from its long slumber and demands enforcement of anti-trust regulations that USDA and the Department of Justice have failed to use. Otherwise, we will continue to wonder why programs like MILC “aren’t working” while ignoring the structural impacts of market consolidation, the elephant in the corner. As the Committee prepares for another hearing on dairy this fall, we should press for these issues to be addressed head-on.

A full audio recording of the hearing is available online at

By Adam Stolorow, Law Intern at NFFC

Thursday, July 20, 2006

USDA Powdered Milk Turns Large Profits at Taxpayers Expense

Aid to Ranchers Was Diverted For Big ProfitsTons of Powdered Milk Ended Up on the Market
By Gilbert M. Gaul, Sarah Cohen and Dan MorganWashington Post Staff WritersWednesday, July 19, 2006; A01
When a drought left pastures in a handful of Plains states parched in 2003, ranchers turned to the federal government for help. Officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture quickly responded with what they considered an innovative plan.
They decided to dip into massive stockpiles of powdered milk that the agency had stored in warehouses nationwide as part of its milk price-support program. Livestock owners could get the protein-rich commodity free and feed it to their cattle and calves. The milk would help ranchers weather the drought while the government reduced its growing stockpile.
But within months, the program spawned a lucrative secondary market in which ranchers, feed dealers and brokers began trading the powdered milk in a daisy chain of transactions, generating millions of dollars in profits. Tens of millions of pounds of powdered milk intended solely for livestock owners in drought-stricken states went to states with no drought or were sold to middlemen in Mexico and other countries, a Washington Post investigation found.
Taxpayers paid at least $400 million for the emergency milk program, one of an array of costly relief plans crafted by Congress and the USDA to insulate farmers and ranchers from risk. In some cases, ownership of the powdered milk changed hands half a dozen times or more in a matter of days, with the price increasing each time. A commodity that started out being sold for almost nothing was soon trading for hundreds of dollars a ton.
One government inspector stumbled upon huge cargo containers being loaded with the milk at the Port of Houston. The destination: Europe. A New Zealand official complained to USDA officials that American brokers were flooding her country with the powdered milk, undercutting local dairy suppliers. Still other records show the milk going to the Netherlands and the Philippines.
"The milk was being bought and sold, bought and sold. Some of it was probably ending up in dog food and pet food," said Matthew J. Hoobler, a Wyoming official who oversaw the distribution of more than 60 million pounds of powdered milk in that state. That trading was possible, he said, because "there was no enforcement."
Tons of the surplus milk entered the commercial market in one of two ways. Some states ended up ordering more powdered milk than ranchers could use and then auctioned the rest to brokers. And ranchers sold powdered milk they didn't want or need back to feed dealers, who marked it up and sold it to other dealers or brokers.
In its contracts with eligible states, the Agriculture Department required that the milk be used to feed cattle within the state's borders. The trading itself was not illegal, but shipping the milk outside of the states violated the rules.
Even when agriculture officials learned that the product was being diverted, however, there was little they could do. The USDA had allocated the milk directly to the states, and state officials did not have the resources to track the middlemen. In any case, penalties were nonexistent.
"The problem came in when we got lots of different brokers looking to turn a buck," said Bert Farrish, the USDA's deputy administrator for commodity operations. "They didn't seem too concerned about the restrictions on the use of the product."
One Utah broker, Randy Schreiber, sold 11.1 million pounds of powdered milk to Mexican middlemen and others, records and interviews show. Schreiber, who is the subject of an investigation by the Agriculture Department's inspector general, said he does not think he broke any rules.
"I tried to be creative . . . entrepreneurial," he said. "This is a chapter in my life I would really like to forget."
Federal officials still don't know how much of the government's milk was diverted to foreign countries and to states that didn't have a drought. Warehouse examinations identified some abuses. But "when we turned over title [for the milk] to the states, we were finished," Farrish said.
State officials said the assistance program was fraught with loopholes that fostered the speculative trading. And when they did report cases of suspected abuse, they said, the USDA was slow to respond.
"We didn't have the capability to do enforcement ourselves," said Wyoming's Hoobler. "It was me and a part-time intern running the program. When we did phone in a concern, we didn't get a lot of feedback."An Overflowing Cave
For years, the government has periodically purchased powdered milk -- as well as butter and cheese, the other byproducts of raw milk -- as part of a congressionally mandated price-support program for milk producers. By 2003, the Agriculture Department had accumulated a record 1.4 billion pounds of powdered milk in warehouses and in a huge limestone cave in the Kansas City area.
The bulging stores coincided with a drought that left livestock pastures burned in about a dozen states. Some livestock owners were faced with selling their herds, Farrish said. Giving them the powdered milk as an emergency source of feed seemed like a good way to help out. "We did stop the wholesale liquidation" of breeding herds, Farrish said.
In 2003, the government released 390 million pounds of powdered milk for the ranchers, giving it to the states for $1 a truckload. Responsibility for running the program was given to the states. In addition, ranchers were permitted -- within limits -- to trade their government allotments to feed dealers for other feed mixes and in some cases cash.
The trading made the secondary market possible. Once the powdered milk reached a feed dealer, it had a much higher potential price. It could be mixed with other feeds and resold to ranchers or sold to brokers who in turn traded it at the going rate in the commodities market. Protein-rich powdered milk is one of the most widely traded commodities, because it is versatile enough to be used in both animal feed and human food, such as pudding, hot-chocolate mix, ice cream and infant formula.
"Our job is not to hold on to any product," explained Pam Neary, owner of High Country Mercantile Inc., a commodity-trading firm in Cody, Wyo., that acquired the rights to millions of pounds of powdered milk that it then sold to third parties. "We don't hold it. We don't store it. It's in one hand and out the other hand."
Jake Malloy, a trader in Casa Grande, Ariz., said, "I think the product had a lot of value. But ranchers didn't get that much. It was the feed dealers and mills who really made out on this."
Rancher Brad Bateman of Elberta, Utah, who runs 10,000 head of cattle, said he got "truckloads" of powdered milk. He used some as feed and traded the rest to a broker for up to $400 a load. With the profits, "I could buy soybean meal cheaper," Bateman said.A Warning in a Fax
One of the first hints of the burgeoning market in government milk came in a fax to the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food on Oct. 23, 2003.
The fax said a USDA warehouse was about to ship nearly 250,000 pounds of powdered milk from its stockpile to a private warehouse in Salt Lake City. That puzzled state officials, because the shipment was clearly outside their allotment under the federal program.
That same week, a series of anonymous phone calls were made to the Utah officials describing alleged abuses in the program. One caller "indicated that he suspected the product . . . was being shipped to foreign markets," according to an Oct. 31 e-mail written by Utah Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture Kyle R. Stephens.
The e-mail was among thousands of pages of investigative files and government records that The Post obtained from state and federal agencies under the Freedom of Information Act. Those records, as well as interviews with more than 50 government officials, traders, brokers, mill operators and feed companies, show that the Utah shipment was part of a chain of transactions that stretched from Wyoming to Idaho to Utah to Mexico.
The chain began in June 2003 when Randy Schreiber, the Utah broker, decided to get into the powdered-milk market. Schreiber's tiny company, Impression Foods, specialized in buying and selling food internationally. He said he had never sold animal feed before.
According to Schreiber, he didn't have to look very hard to find the government's powdered milk. "Traders found me," he said. "I never contacted anyone. People just called."
One call came from Walton Feed, based in Montpelier, Idaho. The firm had access to tons of powdered milk, which it had traded or purchased from ranchers and brokers.
Greg Kunz, one of the owners of Walton Feed, said his company handled 200 to 300 truckloads. Each truck held about 22 tons. Kunz said he was paid up to $160 a ton by some brokers. "I made $40 on top," he said. "But remember, I had to store and reload it."
Kunz said he had an agreement with Schreiber that the broker would use the powdered milk "within the prescribed guidelines of the program." But he added that Walton officials didn't track the milk once it left their possession and "didn't know how Randy used the product."
Schreiber arranged to have the powdered milk remixed and repackaged at two mills in the Salt Lake City area. Sherman Robinson, the owner of Lehi Roller Mills near Provo, said Schreiber paid him 9 or 10 cents to repack each 55-pound bag.
"They ran a lot of product through here . . . probably 5 or 6 million pounds," Robinson said.
Shipping records show that of the 11 million pounds of powdered milk handled by Schreiber, half went to Mexico.
"I would guess if it was going overseas it would be lumped into a [cargo] container. We loaded some containers here, too," Robinson said. "The only reason I had to suspect that it was going to Mexico was the Spanish on the labels."
Schreiber declined to identify his Mexican customers. Records show that one was Monte Roble S.A. de C.V., a small food company near Mexico City. A Nov. 19, 2003, export certificate shows that Impression Foods shipped 765 bags to Monte Roble. The description was "animal products."
A spokesman for Monte Roble, Jesus Cazare, said the small firm was in the business of brokering "food products and nourishment for human consumption." He added that he had no "recollection" of the purchases of powdered milk and had been at the firm only a short time. "There have been big changes in the company," he said. "I am not aware Monte Roble was buying from this company."
Schreiber also said he sold millions of pounds of milk to brokers whom he declined to name. Records show that all of that product went abroad.
"Can I account for what those people did to the product once it left my control? No," Schreiber said in one of a series of interviews. "Do I know some of our customers sold elsewhere? Yes. Do I know it left the country? . . . Yes. Do I know where they took it? No."'It Will Get Ugly'
When Utah's Stephens learned that brokers in his state were diverting the government's powdered milk, he turned the findings over to USDA officials, who in turn shared them with the department's office of inspector general.
In January 2004, Schreiber met with USDA inspectors at a Comfort Suites hotel in Salt Lake City. Separately, Robinson and Kunz also met with inspectors.
Schreiber said he was "completely open" about where the powdered milk was going. He said one of the inspectors even applauded him for his creativity. But later, Schreiber said, the tone of the inspectors changed and he started to worry that he was in trouble.
"As far as I know, it's still an ongoing case," he said. "I don't know what is going to happen, but I know at one point it will get ugly."
In July 2004, then-Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced that the USDA would once again dip into its stockpile of powdered milk to help ranchers. But this time, the agency included specific restrictions on feed dealers and a more explicit prohibition on exports.
A spokesman for the USDA inspector general declined to comment on the status of any investigations into diversion of the government's powdered milk. Last fall the agency issued an audit report on government drought-relief programs that noted abuses in powdered-milk trading, including that some of the product went abroad. But the report named no names.
Schreiber said he stopped buying and selling powdered milk in 2004. Since then, his firm has gone from five employees to one, he said: "As soon as this is over, it will cease to exist."
Today, Schreiber, 42, said he is trying to sell commercial real estate while waiting for the other shoe to drop. The government "is trying to turn things inside out," he said. "Here I was trying to do something positive. They wanted to reduce their stockpile. Ranchers got feed. Now they want to say I did something wrong."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I feel like there is noting right on this farm for a goat. Dave hates them. They have tragic endings. Kiwi was found in the water trough. A full grown doe. She had Karo this spring. A sweet little Arapawa doe. I screamed when I saw her. No one came. A house full of people and no-one could hear me. Dave yelled at me later. That isn't new.

He has the irritable bowl thing again. He has had it for days. He is miserable to live with. I contemplate how to dissolve assets and keep the cheese vat on days like (well the whole weekend). He should be coming in from mowing hay. 5 days of scours and he does all of the days chores and then mows hay...

I miss Kiwi, Galedog, Hercules, Begonia and all of the others I've lost since moving to Central New York.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Dear Mr. President

President George Bush July 7, 2006
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush:

As family dairy farmers, we have been extremely frustrated over the last six years since our efforts to bring attention to the rampant corruption in the dairy industry have generally been ignored by government officials and agencies, including those in your Administration.

Our primary concern is price manipulation for dairy commodities at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). We have sent letters and met with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, including Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), as well as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. We have also corresponded with Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) and Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) on dairy issues. We met with the CME on April 18, 2005, and held an informational rally in front of their building. A second rally was held in April 2006, to again bring light to this issue.

In the spring of 2004, the Department of Justice began an investigation, along with 23 state Attorney Generals, into dairy commodities price manipulation. Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), Dairy Marketing Services (DMS), Dairylea Cooperative, Dean Foods, and many other businesses and joint ventures of DFA were under investigation.

On October 1, 2005, funding for this investigation was pulled by the US Attorney General’s office. This action precipitated a decline in dairy commodities cash trading at the Chicago Mercantile. Prices for a 40-pound block of cheddar cheese fell from $1.59 1/2 per pound to $1.12 1/4 per pound. This resulted in a drop of $4 per hundredweight in the milk price paid to dairy farmers–a shocking loss of 28 percent.

Dairy farmers in all regions of our nation are suffering from this dramatic loss of income. Escalating costs of fixed inputs, including the skyrocketing fuel prices, have placed dairy farmers everywhere in crisis. The economic fallout from this situation is severely impacting the dairy communities’ support businesses too, as farmers lose the ability to pay for services, supplies, feed, labor, machinery, and mortgages.

Our rural citizens deserve better than this persistent, malicious manipulation of dairy prices, which is causing chaos for the dairy farmers whose social and economic survival is essential for the well-being of this country. Until the powerful dairy processing industry, including the dairy cooperatives that continue to ignore their obligations to their farmer-members, are thoroughly investigated by the Department of Justice, corruption in dairy pricing will continue as the status quo. This grave injustice, the effects of which are suffered by both farmers and consumers, must not continue.

We encourage you to fulfill your duty to our beleaguered family dairy farmers by initiating a thorough investigation into the dairy industry that is completed– not aborted midway. It is time for you to prove, once and for all, that efforts on our behalf are not being stymied by those who profit at our expense.

Thank you,
Shannon M. Nichols

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hannah vs. Gary

My neice is up. Hannah is my sister's oldest daughter. She is a year older than Claire. She hated cats when she got here. Gary is now afraid of her. Hannah now want to be the best of friends with the cat. I think the relationship will be similar to Ginger's relationship with Gary. Not so good...

Renate ordered legal scale in lieu of paying to help develop Camembert. The taste of the experiment was very nice. The texture more like the Colwick, but also another cheese. We have to do something about the hoops jumping up on us. That and cook the curds a wee bit more. I think we are heading in the right direction. She tries crottins with the cows milk (so fuzzy quark...)

I was suppose to ring Brewster Inn on Monday and forgot. Didn't sleep and the kids not getting on combined with cheesemaking. I'll have to give Jason a ring next Monday to see what he is up to. I also want to see how Alison is doing. I hope Circa is doing well. They are such nice people. Made a special order from Syracuse Real Food. I have to check with Travis to see if the bride liked it.

I guess American Farm was not about farming or the status of farming in the US today. It was something more along the lines of the break down of a farm family. I am sad I missed the even - if only to support Slow Foods - but not so sad if the story line isn't what I thought it would be. I have to make a tv series. I want to be a rock star!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Good Night Sleepy Head

I only wish it were so easy. Remember those nights as a little child? Friends or relatives over for sleep over? Well, that means they go to sleep late and get up early. Combine that with insomnia and dairy chores.... I'm bushed.

Dave is trying to get dry bales into barn before the thunder storm. Renate and I tried to make Camembert ourselves. That was interesting. I learned something about curds sneeking under hoops. I learned to appreciate multi-molds BIG TIME.

I also think we are going to go with Donna's recipe instead of Pete's for this facility and the rustic nature of the hooping here. I didn't like the curd on the first turn. Too soft. We shall see in the morning. I hope this puppy works.

Hannah learned that she likes fish with Ketsup. Renate brought the Pickle in the Middle (garlic scapes with cucumber in middle) ~I loved the garlic scapes in my ham and gouda sandwich. This is for my Turkey Day celebration this fall.

Claire had un-binkie party yesterday. It involved cake and all of the used candles in the cupboard. She and I like most any excuse for a cake with frosting. Kinda like ice cream. Why go for the boring plain old ice cream when you can have fudge, whipped cream, jimmies and caramel sauce on the ice cream... BIG TIME yum.

Inspectors want me to keep Rivington's cheese here the 60 days. Not so cool for him. I don't have aging capacity or time to screw with his cheese. Buggers left 3 1/2 hours of cleaning for me. Not so good. I am not so sure about all of this right now. I need to be making cheese in the plant.

It is time to cash flow this puppy. I cannot afford to keep this whole thing if it is not paying for itself and me at this time. Really, it is up to me now. I am selling cheese like heck without marketing a darn and now I just need to kick it up a notch. Bugger everyone else if they aren't willing to take the investment themselves. Renate is the only one who is willing to spend time mucking around other peoples hoops and drain tables. The rest are worth nada in my plant right now.

Tylenol PM and maybe a glass of wine... Well probably a cup of tea and the PM stuff. I need the sleep SOOOOOOOOOO bad.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Getting Caught Up

Ken got my laundry line up again. Paul Wratten ripped it out a year ago when he was working on water system in the pole shed. I've had many a load out on it already. Nothing is nicer than the fresh smell of laundry off the line.

Weeded half of the vegetable garden and picked peas. Some had to be tossed to the sheep. They also appreciated the weeds. Pig weed, thistle and some other mustard like thing for the most part. Have to replant some of it. Rain and cold spring didn't help my germination (that and some seed are over a year old). Cucumber, beans and lettuce will be the primary replacements.

So, Moonbeam wasn't in a good way. That was a flippant way to say it. I was so ill when we found her. Every time Nolan minds the animals a goat dissapears or dies. I don't know if it is because he is so careless that he doesn't pay attention or if it is fate. The goat was known for surfing and I've found her time and again down a hole after escaping and slipping between round bales. Heck, I've moved two layers of round bales (no easy feat for a woman without a tractor). She apparently tried to jump the knew panel wall to the hay shed part of the pole barn and got her back feet horribly stuck. It was clear that she struggled to get free. How Nolan didn't hear a goat screaming (which is what the poor thing would have done) is beyond me. I don't know. We were in MA. I'm still not over that one.

Valarie's cow calved. A jersey cross heifer. She is so new to bovines that this was a shocking experience. Thank God for Eve Ann who helped her after the calf was born. Se and some paste that Chris DVM had. The animals are fine and I think that Valarie will be as well. She just needs to find out how to arrange something to milk her. That or find a bull calf to graft on. A Pakistani down the road offered $5/gal. I also suggested I'd show her how to make yoghurt or Quark to use up the milk (she doesn't drink much milk).

Brian Rivington made cheese today. I left him alone for the most part. 50 gal. of this soft ripened stuff. This is their last weekend at the Farmer's Market. It is mine for a few weeks. I have to review inventory. I may also sneak up to Clinton and see if Ferris can get me in for a few weeks. See if Adirondak Cheese has a fit or not. They just sold, so they may not even notice.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Glad to See You Glad to See You Go

That is a saying my Irish American grandmother use to have. I always thought that was typically her. Kinda rude, with that charming bite me smile and wave. You know, I understand it more and more as I get older. For usm we were glad to get off the farm, yet we always had this thing in the back of our mind that there is generally something special waiting for us when we get home.

The 4th was the typical family noshing fest. You know where there are people you actually want to see and talk to. People who dispise the ground you walk on (those are the ones you are especially nice to because they hate it more). People who you don't have much in common with. People who have to have a comment about everything and anything you are doing...

Dave was not into the whole sit on a blanket and wait for fireworks thing with my sister's family and my mom. Combine that with the now typical Massachusetts traffic and he was a bit hard to deal with.

I don't sleep. I haven't slept in days. We slept, not at a hotel like I thought we were going to do, but in Donney's bedroom in Dave's parents basement. A damp cot and single bed aren't overly romantic. I didn't sleep much.

Mom got me the Kerry and Dexter books out of the library that I wanted. Awsome resources. I have the Journals being scanned as we speak. The Dexter Association is cool with the copying it thing. I talked to a Chuck and a Sandy from their assocaition. Both very nice people and were trying to get me contacts to find out what happened to the genetic lines of Kerry's that were here pre 1920's.

Didn't get the cheese thing together enough to bring some with me to MA. Lisa did get some to Syracuse. That was awsome.

I have to try to sleep. I cannot keep eyes open. Sondra had to be shipped via Scooby Doo and Moonbeam was not in a good way. Will explain next blog.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Typical Saturday Morning

I am exhausted. I didn't think the day would go well when I got up, but it was pleasant none the less.

I got the cheeses to the market just in time. Green RTabbit was later than me for a change. The Rivington's were just finishing their set-up. I hung the sign up and pulled out the Honey Gouda and weighed it. Nice wheel. Holes well developed and spread out. Pleasant taste. A little sharper than other batches. I think that was when the weather was starting to warm and I had to get into cooler after waxing rather than wait on the racks in the cut & wrap room (which is a nice 48-54 degrees in the winter).

The Caerfilli experiment went over pretty well. Actually better than I thought. I will make more Cheddar style cheeses for this market area. The Caerfilli tastes like the Gouda in the first and finishes with a cheddar. Pleasant cheese. One fellow bought a pound of the Gouda for him and another of the Caerfilli for his daughter. Apparently it makes a mean melt over sausage grinders (4th of July food I understood it to be). Fair enough, Renate and I had the Honey Gouda in grilled cheeses the other day.

Renate came by around 9:45 to check in. After shopping the market we left to pick up Peter sheep. What a carcass. He finished 84#. Beautiful leg roasts. Nice colour. Large well defined loins. Nice amount of meat for center cut ribs. To say the least butchering with another woman is a great way to release a certain amount of pent up weekly umpf. Even Dave and Nolan figured that it was best to leave the two women with cleavers, a saw and various sharp knives alone with the carcass on teh kitchen table! If only it was late enough for wine, we could have solved all of the worlds problems.

I have to say I am happy with the quality of the meat. Very happy. He wasn't muttony even after more than 1 1/2 years. She will get me some Dutch sausages and pickled garlic scapes for the meat. I was glad to give him to her after helping me out with the Gouda processes this spring.

After the butchering bit, I went back to the Farmer's Market to help the Rivington's pack up and to see if Nina Plank came by to review the market before the book signing. I guess not. So much for rumors and supporting local agriculture. Fair enough.

Talked to my mum when I got back. Claire wasn't at Grammy and Grampies to talk on the phone. I guess she was micro-managing the Beagle this morning. All was well there. Up at 5:30 am with the dog and ready to tackle the day. Mum and I had a good chat. I think she needed it as much as me. We have plans to get together on the 5th. She does have the books I requested. Good soul. Went to the Agriculture floor of the UMASS library to get the Kerry/Dexter herd book and a journal.

To Claire's room to make sense of the mess while she is visiting ;~>