Emergency Funding Proposed For Dairy FarmersPosted: Updated:
Dan O'Brien owns a 72 cow dairy farm in the town of Lowville. He says with milk prices being so low, things have been tough.
"Repairs aren't getting done, bills aren't getting paid, everybody in the family has a job outside of the farm," he said.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wants to bring some relief to dairy farmers like O'Brien. She's called on the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, for $300 million in emergency relief funding. It's the same amount that the USDA provided cotton farmers when their prices dropped earlier this year.
"I want this emergency funding to go directly to the farmers who need it so their farms can keep running and they can keep producing milk without going bankrupt," said Gillibrand (D. - New York).
Gillibrand estimates that each dairy farmer in New York would get about $8,000 in direct grant money. O'Brien says it's awful that the problem has become so bad that farmers need emergency relief funding, but says the money is important.
"That money will, for the most part, all be returned back into the communities that we are farming in, so I think it will be a great thing for the communities as well," he said.
O'Brien added that while emergency relief money would be great, what dairy farmers need is a long term solution to this problem.
Senator Gillibrand says she'll do everything she can on the Senate's Agricultural Committee to bring relief to farmers.