Improving Pennsylvania's dairy industry priority recent hearing

Improving Pennsylvania’s dairy industry a priority at recent hearing

Improving the state of dairy farming in Pennsylvania was the topic of discussion at the state capitol Tuesday. The Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee held a hearing on how to improve dairy farming with short and long term goals.

While total dairy consumption is up, those numbers aren’t up across the board. Seventeen years ago, fluid milk consumption was 26 gallons per capita, today it’s down to 19. In 2000, 50 percent of dairy farmers were producing fluid milk, that number also decreasing to just 32 percent.

“It would be a tragic mistake on our part to just sort of let the market demand run its course,” said Sen. Jake Corman, (R) District 34. “And see all these dairy farmers go away.”

Following results of a study, the Department of Agriculture came up with long and short term fixes to improve the dairy industry in the state. Short term goals include promoting, researching and developing dairy. Long term goals include improving the state’s trade policy. Seventeen percent of U.S. dairy is exported, a market Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding believes the state can tap into.

“Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers are outside the U.S.,” said Redding. “So feeding that and working with that. We built the enterprise to do it but we’ve got to be able to compete there are as well.”

The committee will go over what was discussed at the hearing before moving forward with any future legislation.


Source: Fox 43

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