Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Key Senate Panel Approves $200,000 for Cornell University to Develop New Dairy Policy to Help Grow New York Agriculture Economy

Jul 13, 2009

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee late last week approved $200,000 for Cornell University to research and develop new agricultural policies to help grow New York’s dairy economy in the FY10 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand aggressively lobbied members of the Appropriations Committee to include funding for the project in this year’s spending bill.

“Cornell is the cream of the crop when it comes to agricultural research institutions and these funds will keep it at the cutting edge of farming innovation,” said Senator Schumer. “At a time when New York’s dairy farmers are struggling we need Cornell’s help more than ever to help find ways to bring them out of crisis. It is critical that we fund these types of programs within our Universities to promote agricultural research and advancements that will help protect our farmers and promote our economy.”

“New York’s farmers are critical to our economy and we must ensure their success,” said Senator Gillibrand, New York’s first member of the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years. “We continue to see cycles of boom and bust in the dairy market and the safety net in place to help dairy farmers hasn’t changed in years, even though the price of milk continues to climb in the supermarket. These federal dollars will give Cornell University the resources it needs to research and develop new ideas and new policies to help get New York’s dairy economy back on track and growing again. I will continue working with Senator Schumer and the entire Congressional Delegation to make sure New York gets its fair share from the federal government.”

Cornell University will receive $200,000 in Livestock & Dairy Policy Special Research Grants to develop new proposals for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Congress to put in place and help grow America’s agricultural sector.

New York’s dairy economy has been hit hard by these tough economic times. The MILC program – established to be a safety net for large price discrepancies in milk prices – is broken and not providing the assistance that New York’s dairy farmers rely on – pushing many of them toward bankruptcy.

This federal investment will arm Cornell University with the resources it needs to research and develop new policies to help get New York’s dairy economy back on track – and bring relief to New York’s farm families.

Next, the appropriations bill will need to be approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee, after which it will be sent to the Senate floor. Clearing the Senate Subcommittee is the most difficult step in the process.