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Gillibrand pushes dairy bill

Mar 02, 2011 7:10 am
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing a new federal Farm Bill to stem the closing of family farms, which saw a 23 percent drop in five years here in New York State."][/caption]In response to the loss statewide of 23 percent of its dairy farms, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced a plan aimed at supporting New York’s dairy farmers, according to a piece in the Albany Business Journal. Tracey Drury reports that the plan was developed following listening sessions statewide on agricultural issues held in preparation for the 2012 Farm Bill. In the span of just five years, Gillibrand has noted, New York State lost 23 percent of its dairy farms. As of 2007, New York State is home to nearly 5,700 dairy farms, down from nearly 7,400 in 2002, according to the USDA. In 2010, the number was closer to 5,400. Gillibrand’s plan calls for overhauling the milk pricing system, giving state dairy producers fair, competitive pricing to fix a system where farmers often pay more to produce their products than they make from selling them. Other efforts include preventing cuts to the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program; bolstering the state’s dairy exports; improving cold storage inventory reporting standards to stabilize trading prices; and providing farmers with more tools and information needed to thrive.

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