Disappearing Farms

George Winner

May 28, 2009

Can we stop it?

I'm talking about the perfect storm that's settling over New York's dairy industry.  Low milk prices being paid to farmers plus high operating costs plus a declining worldwide economy and other factors are combining to spell disaster for many state dairy farmers.

It's similar to what farmers faced a few years ago when, in 2007, the state responded by enacting the Dairy Assistance Program to provide $30 million in direct state aid to dairy farmers facing collapse.

Earlier this year I joined many of my Senate colleagues in an effort to reauthorize the Dairy Assistance Program, but we were defeated.

So we're left asking, Can we stop it?  Will we even try?  And if we don't, how many dairy farms, especially small family farms, will be out of business by the end of year?