Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica A. Chittenden

June 11, 2008

Commissioner to Hold Public Dairy Forum in Syracuse

June 23 Forum will Gather Perspective on Milk Marketing Issues

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker will host a public Dairy Forum to gain perspective from members of the dairy industry on milk marketing issues.

The Dairy Forum will be held Monday, June 23, 2008 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse at the Martha Eddy Room in the McNeil Art and Home Center.

The Forum is open to the public and will be an open microphone format. Anyone who wishes to participate will have five minutes to present their opinions and must also provide their comments in written form.

Comments should focus on the following key milk marketing issues: milk price volatility; changes to the federal milk marketing order; the New York State Rogers-Allen Act; milk hauling; member-controlled cooperatives; milk producer financial security; and milk labeling.

Prior to the public comment period Bob Gray, Executive Director of the Council of Northeast Farmer Cooperatives, will discuss provisions of the recently passed Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, commonly known as the Farm Bill.

The Farm Bill includes many provisions that will benefit dairy producers in New York State. The Farm Bill strengthens the existing safety net for dairy farmers by increasing the differential for the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) trigger price to 45 percent, increases the eligible pounds of milk to nearly three million, and ties the price of feed to the MILCís trigger price in difficult financial times.

Those wishing to participate in the Dairy Forum must RSVP by 5:00 pm on Friday, June 20 to Mary Ann Stockman at 518-485-7728 or

New York State has 6,200 dairy farms that produce over 12 billion pounds of milk annually, making New York the nationís third largest dairy state. The dairy industry is the Stateís largest agricultural sector, contributing significantly to the Stateís economy by generating $2.4 billion at the farmgate, over half of the Stateís total agricultural receipts, and providing some of the highest economic multipliers in the State.

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