Time for dairy state governors to step up to plate

Arden Tewksbury
Manager of Pro-Ag
Arden Tewksbury

In addition to many efforts Pro-Ag is pursuing, we now are calling on Governors in dairy states to issue Proclamations declaring the rural areas in their states to be in a State of Emergency.

We just began our effort this week by sending a request to Governor Cuomo of New York urging him to declare a state of emergency.

Pro-Ag is estimating that nearly 4,500 dairy farmers in New York State are losing approximately $700 million per year, below the national average cost of production.

It’s possible the average loss for each year of 2015, 2016, and 2017 could approach one billion dollars.  

Using a multiplier of five, the total loss to the rural economy in New York State would be between $3 and $5 billion. (A conservative figure.)

The dairy farmers in New York State should immediately call Governor Cuomo and urge him to issue this Proclamation.  We will be urging Governor Cuomo and other Governors to work with anyone and everyone to push forth immediate action to correct the deplorable inequities facing New York State dairy farmers, as well as all dairy farmers across the United States of America.

We are preparing a letter to Governor Tom Wolfe to take the same action in Pennsylvania.

We will be working with other dairy farmers in other states to take the same action.  For the record, figures indicate that United States dairy farmers are approaching 212 billion pounds of milk production in each year.  This means nationally, that dairy farmers collectively lost between 10 and 11 billion dollars of needed income each year to run their farms.  This means the rural loss in 2016 had to approach between 50 billion to 60 billion dollars.

Dairy farmers can wait no longer! We are recommending that Congress place a $20 per cwt. (hundredweight) floor price under milk used to manufacture dairy products.  We are also urging the Secretary of Agriculture and/or Congress to immediately hold milk hearings to give dairy farmers an opportunity to survive.

I’m urging dairy farmers to call Pro-Ag at 570-833-5776, or email us at progressiveagricultureorg@gmail.com  and help us obtain your Governor’s contact number, and please call your Governor’s office, urging them to get involved.

Time is of the essence. This latest action does not relieve our elected officials in Washington DC of responsibility. Go after these officials and demand action now!