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Gillibrand to hold hearings this week on dairy pricing

Sen. Gillibrand meets with dairy farmers at the NYS Fair
Jessica Cain
Sen. Gillibrand meets with dairy farmers at the NYS Fair

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) will be holding hearings this week to address declining milk prices that are putting the squeeze on local dairy farmers.

That’s promising news for dairy farm workers like Taylor Rollins. Rollins is New York state’s national officer candidate for Future Farmers of America, and she hopes to have a career in agriculture.

"98% of all farms in New York are family owned,” said Rollins. “I think in order to keep that number so high and keep family farms around in New York state, the milk prices definitely need to go up."

Gillibrand said that’s what she would like to see, too. Gillibrand said unfair trade practices from foreign countries, increasing production costs, and a drop in milk consumption have led to an increasingly unstable dairy market, and farmers are suffering the most.

"The cost of milk production is higher sometimes than the reimbursement rate, and that puts businesses out of business,” said Gillibrand. “It puts our dairy farmers in a tough place, and a lot of our dairies as a consequence have closed."

During a visit with central and upstate New York farmers, Gillibrand promised to fight for better pricing, and she’ll be holding hearings on how to modernize the federal milk marketing system.

"We want to see ‘Made in America’ right here in upstate New York,” said Gillibrand. “We want to see our own dairy be available worldwide, and the way you do that is support our dairies."

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.