Discussion focuses on state and federal remedies for struggling farms
On May 17th, Senator Jen Metzger organized a meeting with dairy farmers from Sullivan, Orange, and Delaware counties to discuss state and federal legislation to help the struggling New York dairy industry. She was joined by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and representatives for Congressman Antonio Delgado and Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney. The discussion was a follow-up to an April meeting that Metzger arranged between the dairy farmers and Senator Charles Schumer.
“There are no easy solutions to the dairy crisis, and the biggest policy issues are federal in nature, so it is important
that our federal representatives are at the table with our dairy farmers, and that state and federal representatives are working together,” said Metzger. “We also discussed different ways to help our dairy farmers at the state level, including through support for local processing and policies that encourage schools and other institutional customers to source their milk from New York farms.”
Other topics at the meeting included the issues surrounding so-called nut milks sharing refrigerator space with dairy, new opportunities for value-added dairy products, as well as transportation and supply-chain challenges.
“I appreciate Senator Metzger bringing together this group of dairy farmers from the region to discuss with our state and federal officials the issues facing our industry, as well as how we can collaborate to help one another and ourselves,” said Bob Franklin, owner of Bethel Creamery which produces certified kosher organic milk. “There are numerous pressures on small dairies, but working together and with the support of our elected representatives, we will have the best chance of adapting to changing markets and promoting New York dairy to New York consumers.”
Jen Metzger represents the 42nd Senate District, which includes all of Sullivan County and parts of Delaware, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Senator Metzger serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Environmental Conservation, Education, Health, Energy and Telecommunications, Local Government, Women’s Issues, Domestic Animal Welfare, and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Committees.