dairy farming


Senator Chuck Schumer says dairy farmers in New York and across the country need help contending with falling milk prices.

WAMC image composite by Dave Lucas

In the aftermath of the Farm Bill’s failure in the House last week, a movement to break it in two is gaining traction.

The 234-195 defeat of the 2013 Farm Bill in the House came as a surprise to many and a wakeup call to some - cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as "food stamps," became a major hurdle to progress in getting Congress to bolster farm and food programs. The $75-billion food stamp program was hotly debated.

The New York Farm Bureau’s efforts to cap rising agricultural property taxes are gaining legislative momentum.

While Governor Andrew Cuomo touts his business-boosting Tax Free New York proposal, the state's farmers are thirsting for relief: New York farmers pay $38.41 per acre in property taxes, according to Farm Credit East. That is the second highest rate in the country.

As the Farm Bill moves through the Senate Agriculture Committee as early as this week, then on to full Senate consideration, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a teleconference today in which she outlined her priorities for the legislation to strengthen New York State’s agriculture industry and rural communities.

Gillibrand, New York’s first member of the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly four decades, put together a letter, signed by 32 other senators, to cut crop insurance subsidies and hold off any food stamp cuts.

Office of NYS Sen. Patty Ritchie

Several New York state Senators gathered this morning at the capitol in Albany to introduce a package of legislation they say would strengthen the state’s agricultural industry.

WAMC’s Patrick Donges spoke with Senator Patty Ritchie, Republican of the 48th district and chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee about the "Grown in New York" plan.

In his new book  Milk Money, Dartmouth’s Kirk Kardashian asks whether it is right that family farmers in America should toil so hard, produce a food so wholesome and so popular, and still lose money. He looks to uncover the hidden forces behind dairy farm consolidation, and explains why milk--a staple commodity subject to both government oversight and industry collusion--has proven so tricky to stabilize.


A study looking at the current and future state of agriculture in the Berkshires is already revealing some bad news. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports….