Bonacic: Senate Provides $60 Million In Relief To Dairy Farmers

John J. Bonacic

March 16, 2007

Dairy Assistance Program Would Provide Critical Aid to Vital New York Industry

Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope) announced today that the Senate will vote on an Agriculture budget plan which would provide $60 million in immediate financial assistance to dairy farmers across the State. "A viable dairy farm industry is crucial to the health and well-being of our communities," stated Senator Bonacic.

Senator Bonacic said that the dairy industry has suffered greatly due to low milk prices and very high energy and livestock feed prices. The State Senate budget proposal would establish a new Dairy Assistance program within the Department of Agriculture and Markets. The program is similar to Vermont’s and will pay eligible farmers in the form of a separate check based on pounds of milk produced during the 2006 calendar year.

"The dairy industry is a $3 billion dollar industry in New York State and it is in the best interest of everyone in this State to financially strengthen our dairy farms," continued Senator Bonacic.

According to John W. Lincoln, President of the New York Farm Bureau, "This is a win-win for upstate New York. This investment will be felt by the many businesses in our rural communities that support the farm industry."

Dairy farming is a vital part of the fabric of the state’s rural communities, generating tens of thousands of jobs both on and off farms. Senator Bonacic concluded, "High energy and feed costs, flooding, and low milk prices have resulted in unprecedented losses for dairy farms across New York State. It is my hope that the Assembly and the Governor will join our efforts to assist this crucial industry."

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