ALBANY, N.Y. — The Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance (NEAFA) recognizes New York State (NYS) Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYS Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball for their leadership in guiding USDA’s effort to provide essential support to the dairy industry during this extraordinary time. Commissioner Ball’s letter to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue today calls for continued and additional aid for NYS dairy farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic impact on the US dairy industry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has not been appropriately addressed through current emergency relief measures. Additional action is essential to stem the tide of market loss due to the economic shutdown.
In addition, NEAFA supports the efforts of the Nourish NY Program to get wholesome food, including dairy products, to people in need resulting from the economic shutdown. Launched by Gov. Cuomo on April 27th, this new program provides $25 million for emergency food providers and food banks throughout NYS for the purchase of dairy and other agricultural products from NYS farms and processors.
Commissioner Ball said, “The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) provides critical dollars to assist in the purchase of agricultural products that will then be provided to our food banks, which will build on our Nourish NY initiative. However, after reviewing USDA’s projections of losses for several agricultural sectors and the actual payments to be made to New York dairy producers, I am concerned about the effectiveness of the CFAP in providing sufficient direct relief to the dairy industry. New York’s dairy industry is our largest agricultural sector and we need to ensure we are doing all we can to make sure our dairy farmers are receiving the help they need. Adjustments should be made to the CFAP to resolve this funding gap.”
–Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance