Rep. Brindisi Talks Dairy Farm Protection In South New Berlin

By: Shawn Magrath

Rep. Brindisi talks dairy farm protection in South New Berlin Evening Sun photo

NEW BERLIN – Democratic Congressman Anthony Brindisi touted a federal safety net program to Chenango County farmers Monday, sending a message that more should be done to protect Upstate's ag industry.

Brindisi joined local farmers and representatives of the Chenango Farm Bureau and Cornell Cooperative Extension at Finch Family Farm in South New Berlin to promote the USDA's Dairy Margin Coverage Program, a program created to lessen the blow to small farms when the price gap between milk and feed widens.

“I think this program will help a lot of smaller dairy farms that are struggling right now,” said Brindisi, citing global challenges including tariff wars with China and the overseas demand for U.S. agricultural products. “As we've seen hundreds of farms going out of business in the last couple year, that's unacceptable and it's going to hurt our economy in upstate New York.”

Dairy producers opting into the Dairy Margin Coverage Program work with USDA reps to find a coverage option that suits their wants. Farmers can get up to $9.50 per hundredweight and up to 95 percent of their farm's production history.

Farmers also have the choice to lock in their coverage levels until 2023 when the 2018 Federal Farm Bill expires.

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