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Dairy subsidies aren’t the answer

At this week’s dairy pricing Senate Ag subcommittee hearing dairy farmers protested subsidies as a solution for milk pricing challenges.

Mississippi dairy farmer Mike Ferguson says more funding however could be made available to producers for making improvements like with actions to protect the environment.

“Grant and loan availability for operations that are undergoing these changes are an essential part of us maintaining viability,” he says.

Iowa dairy farmer Christina Zuiderveen says subsidies based on cost of production are not effective.

“Even between our three locations we have different sizes of operations, and they all have different operating costs,” she says.  “I would like to maintain that freedom.”

Lowell Davenport, who milks 60 cows in New York, agrees.

“I think that any artificial subsidies to production anywhere make it hard to try to get a level playing field for everyone,” he says.

The farmers recommended the best solution is one that benefits both producers and processors.

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