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Yogurt processors paying plenty for milk

February 20, 2014
The Leader Herald

Regarding the story published Feb. 16 titled "Locals Embrace Farm Bill," most reading this article wouldn't notice the big mistakes made in comments by Fulton County Farm Bureau Vice President Lee Hollenbeck and New York State Farm Bureau spokesman Steve Ammerman. They state the new yogurt processing facilities built in the state purchasing millions of gallons of New York dairy farm milk are not paying enough to farmers. They try to explain yogurt is categorized as class 4, which usually represents the lowest price paid to producers. They are incorrect; in fact, milk that is made into yogurt is class 2 milk, which is traditionally the second highest price paid to dairy farmers and has helped to increase their paychecks over the past four to five years while bringing thousands of new jobs to the area. Mr. Hollenbeck states, "The federal government has to get away from that Minnesota-Wisconsin price ordering system..." Well, he is correct they should, and The United States Department of Agriculture did exactly that in 2000 with major reforms to the system, voted on and approved by dairy farmers nationally.



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