FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 30, 2009
STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR DAVID A. PATERSON
"We are incredibly pleased that Secretary Tom Vilsack of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will support raising the price support for dairy products as a first step to relieve some of the financial strain experienced by dairy farmers across the nation.
"The slowed economy coupled with an antiquated pricing system at the federal level has left the dairy industry in shambles. Our dairy farmers are struggling to keep their farms open as the price of milk continues to plunge and costs continue to rise. Currently, the average New York dairy farmer is losing $.50 for every gallon of milk produced, which equates to roughly $18,000 a month for a 100-cow farm. Our farmers cannot continue with prices at these levels and therefore, I hope Secretary Vilsack is able to negotiate a swift and effective price with the Office of Management and Budget that will help our farmers across the nation, particularly those in Upstate New York.
"I especially want to thank our Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for raising this issue with USDA and emphasizing the need for immediate relief, as well as their efforts to enhance the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program. The progress made on these dairy issues is the culmination of more than six months of work between my office, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets Pat Hooker and the entire New York Congressional Delegation, who have been working diligently to bring these issues to Washington on behalf of the State's nearly 6,000 dairy farmers."