Senator Young & New York State Farm Bureau Join Forces To Halt Dairy Subsidy Cuts

Catharine Young

February 17, 2006

State Senate Agriculture Chair Catharine "Cathy" Young (R,I,C - Olean) today announced her intentions to join forces with the New York State Farm Bureau in opposing a federal initiative "that could kill dairy operations throughout the State."

Senate Majority members are urging the New York State congressional delegation to block the federal proposal that would impose a 3-cent tax per hundredweight of milk, a 5 percent cut to all crop payments including to the Milk Income Loss Contract program, and calls for changes in the way the Department of Agriculture sets dairy support prices which would minimizing payments to farmers.

"This proposed tax hike for dairy farmers would devastate the industry in New York State," said Senator Young. The New York State Farm Bureau and I are urging our Federal representatives to block this harmful policy shift and ensure the economic viability of dairy farms in New York."

"Calling for a tax on milk production at a time when milk prices to farmers are on the decline is ill-timed," said John Lincoln, president of New York Farm Bureau and a dairy farmer from Bloomfield, N.Y.

"We have had strong support from our congressional delegation over the years and we are hopeful that they will work together to defeat this proposal."

New York currently ranks third in the nation in milk production with more than 11 billion pounds of milk produced every year. There are more than 7,000 dairy farmers throughout the state. Locally, there are 136 dairy farms in Allegany county, 294 in Cattaraugus, 278 in Chautauqua, and 82 in Livingston county.