Senate Agriculture Committee Examines Current Milk Pricing System

(HARRISBURG)  Sen. Gene Yaw, R-23, participated in an informational hearing today of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee to examine the current milk pricing structure to help struggling dairy farmers.

“The goal of the informational meeting was to learn about the milk pricing system,” Yaw said.  “Committee members were attempting to get a better understanding of why this system is so complex and what if anything the state can do to assist its farmers.”

Individuals testifying included several active dairy producers, officials of the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board and federal representatives of the Mid East Order Program.

Others testifying included a Penn State professor, representatives of dairy cooperatives, milk dealers and the Agricultural Law Center.  Acting Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding also provided testimony to committee members.

According to Yaw, the majority of the milk pricing system is developed by the federal government and is extremely complex.

“We heard from one farmer who operates a dairy farm in Westmoreland County, who is a graduate of Penn State in Dairy Production and has lived on a farm his whole life,” Yaw said. “Yet he had to attend a two-hour seminar in an effort to get a better understanding of the milk pricing system.

“Each of the four farmers who testified indicated the cost of production was more than the amount of money received in their paychecks,” Yaw said.  “While there were a variety of opinions, everyone agreed that this year has been extremely difficult for our dairy farmers.

“I welcome comments from my constituents on this issue as well, Yaw said.  “It is important that I have a better understanding of the impact the milk pricing system has on the constituents that I represent in Harrisburg.”

Yaw said people can view the meeting by visiting his website

Contact: Adam Pankake
1-800-443-5772 or 570-322-6457