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Gillibrand pushes for new dairy pricing formula to help farmers

gillibrand dairy cow.jpg
Jessica Cain
/
WRVO News (file photo)
Sen. Gillibrand meets with dairy farmers at the NYS Fair

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is pushing for changes to the way farmers get paid for their milk.

The Democrat is taking aim at the framework for dairy pricing. Gillibrand said the current practice is inadequate, out of date, and working against producers.

“The current method is based on the price of cheese in Chicago, which makes no sense," Gillibrand said. "And so we want to make sure it’s based on the cost of production and have a regional price."

The place to do that is the Farm Bill. Shaping legislation for the 2023 bill has already begun in the Capitol, and Gillibrand said she hopes she can get something going by the end of the year.

"I’ve asked already for input from dairy producers across the state and across the country to come up with a framework and pricing that better suits them so they can stay in business longer," Gillibrand said.

Additionally, Gillibrand said dairy farmers need help. Many of them continue to be underwater because they are often paid less than the cost of production. Constantly taking losses has created enormous strain for the industry leading to bankruptcies and in some cases, suicide. Gillibrand said a new pricing formula can help farmers stay in business.

“So we just need a better way for these farmers to stay in business and to be able to thrive. And that means a new pricing formula," Gillibrand

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.