By Senator Patty Ritchie
As chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I’m pleased to report the new state budget includes $51 million in overall funding for many vital agriculture programs, including more than $9.8 million specific to helping the dairy industry.
This much-needed funding will assist programs like the Cornell Dairy Center of Excellence and Cornell Pro-Dairy, which are designed to increase the profitability and competitiveness of New York’s dairy industry.
The funding will also help the Cornell Quality Milk Program, which works with dairy plants to improve the quality of dairy products and to monitor and make recommendations to improve the quality of raw milk produced in the state.
From ice cream to cheese, not only is dairy delicious – it’s healthy, too.
For example, milk contains nine essential nutrients, which may help to reduce your risk for high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers. Its protein can help build and repair the muscle tissue of active bodies and its Vitamin A can help maintain healthy skin.
In June, we celebrate National Dairy Month, which honors the contributions of the dairy industry to our country.
Originally, it started in 1937 as “National Milk Month” as a way to promote drinking milk.
Now the observance has grown into an annual tradition that helps to celebrate our state’s 5,000 dairy farms and all the fresh, nutritious foods and drinks they produce.
As the 2017 Legislative Session continues, I will be working to ensure that New York farmers have the tools and resources they need to thrive, which in turn will help strengthen this important industry.