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September 02, 2014
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Will the farm bill save dairy farms?


“Senator Gillibrand had the courage to vote against the farm bill,” Tewksbury said. “The senator probably has several problems with it, but certainly the cuts in the feeding programs for the needy along with the Senate Agriculture Committee not resolving the dilemma facing dairy farmers were her two main reasons in opposing the bill. It takes a lot of courage to vote against your party’s leadership.”

Gillibrand is currently out of the country but her staff person, Bethany Lesser, confirmed her negative vote.
But is a solution likely?

“The answer to us is very simple,” Tewksbury said. “There has to be a new raw milk pricing system that gives dairy farmers a chance to cover their costs and give the dairymen an opportunity to obtain a profit,” he said. “I don’t see any proposal that’s going to give our dairy farmers the price they need except S-1640, the Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act. Remember, S-1640 combines all manufactured milk into one class at the same price. Some ask: will S-1640 establish too high a price for manufactured milk? The answer is no.”

Is Tewksbury a voice crying in the wilderness? Despite numerous rejections, he never seems to give up.