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Schumer Visits Cayuga County, Warns of Possible Loss of Dairy Program


New York’s senior senator was in Auburn Wednesday to warn local dairy farmers that the Dairy Margin Coverage Program is in limbo as Congress begins negotiating this year’s farm bill.

Senator Chuck Schumer spoke at Cayuga Milk Ingredients.

“Cayuga County is the beating heart of Upstate New York’s dairy industry, and our farmers by the end of this year could be looking over a ‘dairy cliff’ that threatens lifeline payments, puts the industry in limbo, and increase the price of milk,” said Senator Schumer. “The Dairy Margin Coverage Program is essential support for our farmers, which keeps milk flowing to major employers like Cayuga Milk Ingredients, and the best quality milk made from New York farms flowing to families across America. I helped enact the Dairy Margin Coverage Program in the 2018 Farm Bill and I will not stop fighting to churn up support to protect this critical program for our Upstate dairy farmers.”

Enacted in 2018, the program offers monthly price support payments from the federal government to dairy farmers. Unless renewed, the program will end in September.

Cayuga County is the state’s number two milk producing county.

“Dairy is the number one agricultural sector in New York, and it is critical that the 2023 Farm Bill, especially the dairy support programs, continue to assist dairy farmers when milk prices are volatile. Cayuga County Farm Bureau and dairy farmers across New York appreciate Senator Schumer highlighting the importance of Dairy Margin Coverage and needed updates to the program to ensure it meets the needs of dairy farmers. As a New York dairy farmer, I see the value in strong Farm Bill programs that support dairy farmers as well as ensure the nutritious milk can continue to be provided to consumers,” said Jon Patterson, a sixth-generation dairy farmer from Auburn, New York and Cayuga County Farm Bureau President.

“On behalf of Cayuga County, I can confidently say that we hope to avoid the Dairy Cliff scenario that Senator Schumer has warned us of here today. As the #2 dairy producing county in New York State, Cayuga County recognizes and appreciates the hard work that our dairy farmers put in season after season, year after year. Federal programs like the Dairy Margin Coverage program provide critical price support to our County’s dairy industry,” said Cayuga County Legislature Chair David Gould. “I applaud Senator Schumer for fighting to pass a Farm Bill this year, and for his tireless efforts to ensure the Dairy Margin Coverage program is reauthorized before it expires.”

“I want to thank Senator Schumer for coming here today to advocate for reauthorization of the Dairy Margin Coverage Program,” said Mayor of Auburn Michael Quill. The Dairy Cliff scenario could have devastating impacts on Auburn residents, including dairy prices skyrocketing by as much as 100% and consumers struggling to find dairy products in stores. Senator Schumer helped enact this important program in the 2018 Farm Bill, and I applaud him for coming to Auburn today to fight for its renewal so consumers aren’t saddled with avoidable costs at the grocery store.”

More information on the Dairy Margin Coverage Program can be found on Schumer’s website.

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