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Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture
Assembly Standing Committee on Agriculture
Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy

Notice of Joint Public Hearing
Oral Testimony by Invitation Only


Critical Issues Facing the Dairy Industry in New York State


To determine how New York State can best ensure the sustainability of its dairy producers and the dairy industry as a whole.

Monday, January 22, 2007
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Van Buren Hearing Room A
Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor
Albany, NY

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
New York State Fairgrounds
581 State Fair Boulevard
Syracuse, NY

Thursday, January 25, 2007
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Ebenezer Watts Conference Center
49 Fitzhugh Street
Rochester, NY

Thursday, February 1, 2007
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Mahoney State Office Building
65 Court Street
Buffalo, NY

Last year was difficult for New York's agricultural businesses; high fuel and feed costs, labor shortages and flooding created a "perfect storm" scenario for many producers. Perhaps no one, however, felt the crunch as badly as the dairy farmer. The price dairy farmers currently receive per hundredweight for their milk is alarmingly close to what they received as much as twenty years ago. Such prices are determined by what many consider a complex, cumbersome and outdated price control system administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Some dairy economists project a small price upswing in the coming year, yet prices remain significantly low while costs associated with running a farm continue to escalate. The goal of this hearing is to learn what the state can do, both short and long term, to help dairy producers remain viable in the face of such extraordinary conditions.

Please see the reverse side for a list of subjects to which witnesses may direct their testimony. Persons invited to present testimony to the Committee at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.

PLEASE NOTE: Oral testimony will be by invitation only and limited to ten minutes' duration, however, the public is invited to submit pertinent testimony in writing for inclusion in the public record. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible. In the absence of a request, witnesses will be scheduled in the order in which reply forms are postmarked.

The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. Thus, ten (10) copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted to the contact address on page three of this notice no later than two business days prior to the hearing you plan to attend.

In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee's interest in receiving written testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Legislature, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Legislative facilities and activities.

Senator Catharine Young
Chair, Senate Committee on Agriculture

Assemblyman Bill Magee
Chair, Assembly Committee on Agriculture

Assemblyman Jose Rivera
Chair, Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition


  1. What is the general outlook for dairy farmers in 2007?

  2. Other Northeastern dairy states have created direct payment programs for milk producers when prices received by the farmer under federal marketing orders falls below a specific threshold price. Is the establishment of such a program feasible in New York State? What potential dangers or downsides can arise from direct payment programs?

  3. What changes, if any, to the Rogers-Allen Act could the Legislature consider for it to be a more effective tool for over-order pricing?

  4. What effect has New York State's Milk Price Gouging Law, designed to protect consumers from excessively high retail milk prices, had on dairy farmers' bottom line since its enactment?

  5. As the 2007 Farm Bill negotiations resume in Congress, milk prices and other dairy will undoubtedly remain a part of the discussion. What would be the potential benefits of establishing a regional over-order milk pricing system that incorporates regional differences in milk pricing to ensure more equitable Class I pricing for New York dairy farmers? What potential downsides exist with regional pricing?

  6. What other options are available to help dairy farmers through low price cycles?


Persons wishing to present testimony at the public hearing on Critical Issues Facing the Dairy Industry in New York State are requested to complete this reply form as soon as possible and mail it to:

Catherine Mural
Director of Legislation
New York State Senate Committee on Agriculture
Legislative Office Building, Room 805
Albany, New York 12247
Email: mural@senate.state.ny.us
Phone: (518) 455-3563
Fax: (518) 426-6905

box I plan to attend the following public hearing on Critical Issues Facing the Dairy Industry in New York State to be conducted by the Assembly and Senate Committees on Agriculture on (check all that apply):


Monday, January 22, 2007 - ALBANY


Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - SYRACUSE


Thursday, January 25, 2007 - ROCHESTER


Thursday, February 1, 2007 - BUFFALO

box I was invited to provide oral testimony and plan to make a public statement at the above hearing(s). My statement will be limited to ten minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.

box I plan to submit written testimony at the above hearing(s). My statement will be limited to ten minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.


I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

box I do not plan to attend the above hearing.

box I would like to be added to the Committee mailing list for notices and reports.

box I would like to be removed from the Committee mailing list.


I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required:








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