Senator Volker Announces Assistance To Western New York Dairy Farmers

William T. Stachowski

May 18, 2007

(ALBANY, NY) Senator Dale M. Volker (R-C-I, Depew) announced today announced that the western New York dairy farmers will receive financial aid made available in the adopted 2007-08 New York State Budget, via the New York State Dairy Assistance Program. The purpose of the fund

is to make up for record low dairy prices during the 2006 calendar year.

"Agriculture continues to be a pivotal segment of our state’s economic fabric, and we must continue to do all that we can to nurture, grow and support their positive impact to our region and state," said Senator Dale M. Volker. "Profit margins in the dairy business are extremely tight, and last year was very difficult for many of our dairy farmers to stay above water. The State Senate worked very hard to ensure that this program was part of the adopted state budget, and this program will assist our dairy farmers to remain financially viable and continue to produce the high quality dairy products we all enjoy and depend upon."

The Empire State Development Corporation issued electronic payments and paper checks on May 9, 2007, to all producers whose applications were received by April 27, 2007. The checks being mailed represent $25 million of the total appropriation ($30 million). There is reason to believe that there is still eligible milk that was unaccounted for in the applications received thus far. The Department of Agriculture and Markets will continue to accept applications from producers until July 9, 2007. After that date, the Department will issue a final check by the end of July to all eligible producers in order to use the entire $30 million allotted for the New York State Dairy Assistance Program.

Dairy farmers will receive $0.35 per hundred pounds of milk, which was calculated by dividing the $30 million available by the estimated pounds of eligible milk. The average payment to dairy farmers was $5,156.