It wasn't the $60 million proposed last month by the New York State Senate. But over the weekend, the legislature in Albany sent a $30 million Dairy Investment Act to Governor Elliott Spitzer for signing.
The emergency aid package will help keep many farm families from going out of business, according to John Lincoln, president of New York Farm Bureau. "This funding will make sure seed can be purchased and tractors will have fuel for planting. We extend a special thank you to Senator Cathy Young, Assemblyman Bill Magee and Governor Spitzer for stepping up for the farm economy of rural New York."
What's in the package
The program will pay farmers approximately 33 cents per hundredweight for milk production in 2006. It's modeled after similar programs in Vermont and Connecticut.
The legislature allocated $750,000 to establish the Center for Dairy Excellence, which will be linked to the Syracuse-based Farm Viability Institute. Modeled after the Center for Dairy Excellence in Pennsylvania, this long-term initiative will help ensure that farmers will be better prepared to weather dramatic milk price fluctuations in the future.
The Center will help farmers better manage their operations and develop the tools needed to stay profitable during low price cycles," says Lincoln. "The next time milk prices crash, farmers will be in a better position to survive."