U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, on yesterday (Tuesday, June 26th) introduced two amendments to the Farm Bill. One proposal would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to authorize $300 million in emergency relief funding for dairy farmers immediately and the other proposal, titled the SNAP for KIDS Act, which would expand SNAP to help feed more children from low-income families.
Dairy farmers across New York and here in Cortland County are suffering from historically low dairy prices and are forced to shoulder an increasing amount of debt in order to continue operating their farms.
Last month, Gillibrand called on the USDA to utilize this authority once more for dairy farmers in New York and across the country. After receiving a negative response from the USDA, Gillibrand is now introducing an amendment to the Farm Bill to require the USDA to assist New York dairy farmers during this crisis.
This authority was used most recently in 2016 and 2018 to support and protect cotton farmers.
New York is the third-largest dairy producing state, with more than 4,400 dairies producing nearly 15 billion pounds of milk each year.
Gillibrand’s second amendment, called the SNAP for KIDS Act, would expand SNAP to help feed more children from low-income families. She also urged her colleagues to reject the House Farm Bill proposal that increases work requirements and paperwork burdens for many of the more than 40 million Americans who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to feed their families.