In the next few weeks, the U.S. Senate will once again consider the Farm Bill. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is presenting measures she claims will help stabilize the state’s dairy industry.
Most of the dairy measures Senator Gillibrand, a Democrat, is putting forth are being reintroduced after the U.S. House failed to pass the 2012 Farm Bill. On a conference call Tuesday, Gillibrand explained that her bills will provide more certainty and stability for dairy farmers.
Gillibrand is also proposing that warehouse inventories of cheeses be mandatory, and she wants to require more transparency in dairy cooperative bloc voting.
There have been some concerns that her proposal to adjust margin payments for smaller farms would create a barrier to growth using an arbitrary cap of 200 cows. Northeast Dairy Farmers’ Cooperatives Senior Dairy Policy Advisor Bob Gray believes the Senator’s efforts would not impact growth.
Clinton County Treasurer Joe Giroux owns an 80-cow dairy farm. He says the current version of the farm bill is archaic and needs updates.
Dairy is New York State’s leading agricultural sector.