A revised state budget proposed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell contains $10 million in aid for struggling family dairy farmers, who are in danger of going out of business, as sought by State Rep. Mike Alberts, R-50, Woodstock.
“Thanks to the governor for including dairy farmers in the proposed budget,” said Rep. Alberts. “I hope we can pass a budget, with the farm aid included, as soon as possible.”
Alberts added, “These are extraordinary times for Connecticut’s family farmers. Milk prices paid to dairy farmers barely cover feed for their cows. The high cost of doing business has caused several dairy farms in my district to go out of business this year alone.
”Once farms are lost, they are gone forever. We cannot afford to lose thousands of acres of farmland that contribute to the rural environment and quality of life in our area. Further, the loss of these dairy farms would eliminate a major source of locally produced food that is fresh and often organically grown.
”We in the legislature hear the plight of the farmers and are working to preserve farmland from development and protect 4,200 jobs and a $1.3 billion contribution to the state economy.
”I have been working with Democrats and Republicans from across the state to provide immediate relief for the remaining 150 dairy farms in our state, 18 of which are in my district.
”For centuries, farmers have been the backbone of our communities, providing fresh dairy products and produce, local jobs and tax revenues, scenic views, habitats for wildlife and recreational opportunities, and active membership in our volunteer fire departments. We need to keep them here for centuries to come.