Calling a “state of emergency,” area farmers and local officials were scheduled to meet on Tuesday, at the Federated Church on Route 20, in West Winfield to discuss the plunging rate of dairy prices and the impact this is having on local farmers.
“They are blaming us dairy farmers for overproduction and they’re also blaming the economy. But the milk formula put on us by the U.S. government and the USDA federally controlled milk prices is what’s causing prices to go down,” said one of the organizers of the meeting, Dick Becker, an area farmer.
Farmers are looking to receive a cost of production price for their milk, Becker said. “That’s all we are asking to start with,” he added.
A bill in congress, S 1722, would help with this goal, so support of this bill was also on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.
“Last year we averaged $19 (per 100 pounds) and actually made money for a change,” he said. Milk was at $22 per 100 last January, now it’s down to $14 per,” Becker said.
Many area farmers are giving up, according to Becker, who told numerous stories of local farmers who are unable to make a living at dairy farming anymore.
This is a state of emergency for dairy farmers,” Becker said. “None of these savings are being passed on to consumers. The middle man is making the profits.”