Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R,C,I –Canandaigua) announced the state will distribute $30 million in direct aid to New York dairy farmers to offset an unprecedented year of losses, which severely hurt the industry and forced many operations to fold.
Applications for the New York State Dairy Assistance Program are being distributed by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets to 6,000 eligible dairy farmers and payments will be issued by the Empire State Development Corporation. All New York state dairy producers who produced milk in 2006 and were in operation as of April 1, 2007 are eligible for assistance and should apply. Applicants are encouraged to submit their paperwork by the April 27 deadline to ensure timely payments.
“Dairy farming is an important part of the area’s economy that provides hundreds of jobs and an essential product for the well-being of families across the region,” said Kolb. “This one-time infusion of financial assistance for the industry will provide some help to dairy farmers.”
The program provides payments that will be determined by dividing the available funds by the pounds of eligible milk production in 2006. Dairy producers can expect a payment rate between 30 cents and 35 cents per hundredweight. Applicants can only be reimbursed up to 4.8 million pounds of milk produced in 2006, which is part of an effort to spread the available money out to as many dairy producers as possible.
When filling out the application, farmers are encouraged to take advantage of the direct deposit option to get their money sooner, which will enable them to pay off bills and begin the next season.
Dairy producers who have not received an application should contact their cooperative or processor. Those who do not belong to a cooperative can obtain an application at their county Farm Service Agency office. Applications are also available for download directly from the state Department of Agriculture and Markets’ website at www.agmkt.state.ny.us or by calling their toll-free number at 1-800-554-4501.