members of the Senate are patting themselves on the back for not only averting
the fiscal cliff, but skirting what some have called the "dairy cliff." At the
start of the New Year, the milk pricing system would have shifted back to
an antiquated formula, raising prices and causing havoc on the market.
Congress let the massive farm bill expire over
the weekend, and for Vermont dairy farmers it now means the end of the
safety net program known as Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC), which
helps bridge the gap between what it costs to produce milk and what
farmers get paid for it.
Senator Patrick Leahy is optimistic that the
new 5 year federal Farm Bill will include several provisions to help small
dairy farmers stay in business. One provision will allow farmers to purchase insurance that will guarantee that they’ll be able to recoup
their production costs.
Yogurt has always been associated with good
health. Now demand is growing for a new kind of yogurt — the Greek variety.
Sales more than doubled last year. And
just as this market shift is healthy for consumers, it’s also good for dairy