In recognition of National Dairy Month, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C Batavia) joined agriculturalists and members of the dairy industry in celebrating the states tradition of dairy farming at the Assembly Republicans Annual Dairy Day. This annual event brings dairy farmers from across the state together in Albany and features a tasting of their dairy products, live calves, and gives dairy farmers an opportunity to meet with state representatives and members of the greater agriculture community.
As a former farmer myself, I know the hard work and dedication that our states farmers put into their products. I am very pleased to be joining them today in order to celebrate the contribution of our dairy farmers. They contribute significantly to our economy and bettering our health through providing their high quality dairy products. I will continue to support them in order to ensure our states fine tradition of dairy farming continues, said Hawley.
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, there are an estimated 6,400 dairy farms currently operating in our state. With nearly 120 dairy farms in our Western New York region producing over 31 million pounds of milk a year, agriculture is certainly the backbone of our economy, especially in Western New York. Understanding this, Assemblyman Hawley has been a dedicated and important supporter for our regions agricultural market.
In fact, Assemblyman Hawley has legislation to provide financial relief to dairy producers and supports a plan to help recruit the next generation of New Yorks farmers along with measures to promote our states agricultural products on a national and international scale. He is also the sponsor of the New York State Agriculture Assistance Program, a plan that would help promote our states agricultural products and would provide $30 million in assistance for crop and livestock farmers.
Last year, the Assemblymans support helped pass pro-agricultural legislation, including creation of measures this year to establish a $30 million Dairy Assistance Program, capping the amount a base agricultural assessment can change year-to-year, as well as providing financial assistance to counties for farmland protection and for the construction of greenmarkets, among others.
New York State ranks third in the nation when it comes to dairy production. Milk sales alone account for one-half of the total agricultural receipts in New York. In fact, milk sales this past year have brought in $1.4 billion to the state. But milk isnt the only dairy product being churned out New York also provides the nation with abundant and unique supplies of ice cream, yogurt and butter.