Senator Gillibrand wants pricing system for dairy farms adjusted ASAP


NEW YORK (WKTV) - Dairy farms are struggling to survive in New York State, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says the problem can't wait.

She says the system that sets dairy prices is outdated.

The senator says the pricing system is unfair and that often times, farmers pay more to produce the milk than what they get paid for selling it.

Over the past five years, nearly 25 percent of dairy farms shut down in New York State.

Senator Gillibrand says losing our farms is a matter of national security.

"When small dairies go out of business, you wind up seeing consolidation in the market to large dairy farms," Seantor Gillibrand said. "Once you have consolidation, the next step is outsourcing. We don't want to have to buy our dairy and our other produce from other countries."

Gillibrand wants to see a better pricing system in place.

Even though milk costs more at the grocery store, the farmers aren't making anything extra.

"What happens when a dairy farm goes out of business, it affects the whole local economy," she said. "Dairy farms are economic engines. When you have a viable dairy farm that's prosperous, you have a vibrant corner store. You've got a great john dealership. You've got great farm equipment. An enormous amount of economic growth because of that dairy farm."

Senator Gillibrand wants the USDA to collect and publish data on alternative measures of dairy pricing.

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