Assemblyman Christopher Friend (R- Big Flats) today attended the Assembly Minoritys Dairy Day, joining colleagues and representatives of New Yorks dairy industry. Attendees were treated to delicious complimentary samples of milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream all from New Yorks fine dairy producers. The event is held as part of National Dairy Month and gives lawmakers a chance to connect with and better understand the states dairy industry.
The dairy industry is a critical component of the state economy, generating over $2 billion annually, said Friend. Dairy accounts for half of all agriculture sales statewide and New York is the third largest dairy producer in the nation. The industry is clearly an important element of the New York fabric, and events like Dairy Day give us all a chance to get better acquainted with farmers and their families.
New York state is home to 5,700 dairy farms, and, unlike many other states, New Yorks dairy industry is comprised primarily of smaller family farms. Like most sectors of the economy, dairy farms have felt the ill effects of the recession. They suffer from rising fuel costs, inconsistent milk prices, and far-reaching government policies.
As legislators, we must support policies that nurture and foster growth in the dairy community, said Friend. Stabilizing milk prices, lowering taxes, and relaxing regulations would go a long way in aiding the dairy industry. Dairy Day serves as a reminder that we must do all that we can to bolster the industry. I was glad to be able to spend some time with the people that took part in Dairy Day, and I look forward to continue advocating on behalf of dairy farmers.