80 years ago this week. A strike of between 700 and 800 milk wagon drivers employed by the Telling-Belle Vernon company and its subsidiary, the Cloverdale Company, in Cleveland was called. The strike not only deprived Cleveland people of a regular milk supply but directly affects a large part of rural eastern Ohio, as much of the supply received by these companies is shipped from Stark, Mahoning, Trumbull and Portage counties.
The strikers were seeking a new wage scale. The old scale paid the men about $38 a week; the new scale ranged from $31 to $37.50 a week.
50 years ago this week. Through a tremendous reduction in feed costs, two farmers near Leetonia, Ohio, paid for a $1,200 field chopper the first season. Harry Neiheisel’s feed bill had been running into money. His dairy herd had been consuming from $200 to $250 in feed. His G.I. son, John, was having no better luck with 30 head of dairy animals. Costs could not be lowered without silos, which neither had.
The abnormal amount of rain last spring was responsible for father and son gambling on a storage method about which they had been reading: putting the hay up as silage in a trench. So John, chopping in the rain, put 16 acres of alfalfa, clover, and some timothy in a 14- by 40-foot pit. It was speedily filled with dump trucks. Between loads a tractor was continuously run over the pile to ensure thorough packing. Fourteen tons of lime was evenly spread over the top to form a tight seal.
John has been feeding an average of 70 bushels of silage per day now and spoilage has not exceeded three inches beneath the lime. Commenting on the feeding qualities, Harry said, “At first the cows didn’t know what to make of grass silage, but within four days they were crazy about it.” He said his $200-plus feed bill dropped to just $38, and the milk tests did not fluctuate.
25 years ago this week. Leaders of state livestock organizations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana testified in support of the Beef Research and Information Order during a hearing in Pittsburgh. The hearing was one of six across the country to gather information on support of a nationwide beef checkoff program.
Referring to additional funds that would be available as a result of a national checkoff system, Wilbert Skins, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association president, said, “We feel the greatest single need is for adequate financing of the research, educational and advertising program proposed by the Beef Industry Council.”