The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board is one of those small state agencies that remains a mystery to city dwellers far from the farm. But this month, the board may take action on a subject close to home.
The price of milk.
The Harrisburg-based board is mulling a policy change that could not only affect Philadelphia schoolchildren, but also taxpayers' pocketbooks: revising - downward, it is hoped - the price of milk sold to Philadelphia's public schools.
The board sets minimum milk prices for milk sold in the state, with the tricky goal of protecting dairy farmers, distributors and customers. It's a mission that began during the Depression, amid fears that desperate farmers would undercut each other so badly they would drive each other out of business. While Pennsylvania is one of only five states that still has a milk board, it also has about 11,800 dairy farms, a sizable interest group.