Jessica A. Chittenden|
May 10, 2007
State Provides $25 Million In Assistance to New York Dairy Farmers
Dairy Assistance Program Funds Help Invest in Future of State’s Dairy Industry
Governor Eliot Spitzer today announced that the state's dairy farmers will receive $30 million in aid made available in the 2007-08 Executive Budget via the New York State Dairy Assistance Program. The purpose of the fund is to make up for record low dairy prices during the 2006 calendar year. The Empire State Development Corporation issued electronic payments and paper checks on May 9, 2007, to all producers whose applications were received by April 27, 2007. The checks being mailed represent $25 million of the total appropriation.
Dairy farmers will receive $0.35 per hundred pounds of milk, which was calculated by dividing the $30 million available by the estimated pounds of eligible milk. The average payment to dairy farmers was $5,156.
"Dairy farms play a vital role in the economic well-being of Upstate New York," said Governor Spitzer. "By providing this needed assistance, we are helping farmers and the communities they support. This aid will hardly solve all the challenges facing dairy farmers, but hopefully it will help alleviate some of the financial burdens incurred last year."
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker made the announcement at Holmes Acre Farms, LLC in New Woodstock in Madison County, a 350-cow dairy farm that is operated by Jim and Peter Holmes. The Holmes’ farm was one of the 4,849 dairy producers who were eligible and received funding through the New York State Dairy Assistance Program. Because their farm produces more than 4.8 million pounds of milk annually, they, along with nine percent of the applications, received the maximum payment under the program, which was $16,800.
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker said, "We are so pleased to be able to provide this greatly needed assistance to the dairy farmers of this state after the horrendous year they faced last year with record low milk prices and ever increasing feed and fuel costs. As outlined in the legislation, we were able to make direct payments to dairy farmers within 30 days, which required a lot of time and effort on behalf of many individuals, as well as dairy farmers who swiftly completed and returned their applications. I want to thank everyone for their cooperation in getting this money out the door and into the hands of our farmers."
There is reason to believe that there is still eligible milk that was unaccounted for in the applications received thus far. The Department of Agriculture and Markets will continue to accept applications from producers until July 9, 2007. After that date, the Department will issue a final check by the end of July to all eligible producers in order to use the entire $30 million allotted for the New York State Dairy Assistance Program.
Holmes Group Photo:
From left to right: John Lincoln, New York Farm Bureau President; Darrell Griff, Madison County Farm Bureau President, Pat Hooker, New York State Agriculture Commissioner; Jim Homes, dairy farmer; David Valesky, New York State Senator; Bill Magee, New York State Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair; Jesse Holmes, dairy farmer; and Peter Holmes, dairy farmer. http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/images/Holmes%20Group.jpg
DAP Discussion Photo:
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Pat Hooker and New York Farm Bureau President John Lincoln joined at Holmes Acre Farms in Madison County yesterday to announcement the status of the New York State Dairy Assistance Program, which to date has made direct payments averaging $5,156 to 4,849 dairy farmers statewide. http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/images/DAP%20Discussion.jpg
2007 Press Releases