Missouri Dairy Requests Special Session

September 9, 2009 07:00 PM
Missouri Dairy Association press release
The Missouri Dairy Association (MDA) has requested Governor Jay Nixon to call for a special session of the Missouri General Assembly to address the current crisis facing Missouri's dairy producers. 
"Since our August 12 request, for a one time emergency payment from Federal stimulus money to Missouri's dairy producers, we have been told that Governor Nixon needs the General Assembly's authority so therefore we have asked the Governor to call for a special session to address the current crisis facing dairy producers," says Larry Purdom, MDA President and a producer from Purdy, Missouri.
"Our situation has not improved and th e expectations for a better milk price for producers may not occur until next spring," says Purdom.  "Missouri's dairy producers are losing thousands of dollars and the impact on the economy of Missouri is staggering.  Prices received by dairymen are at a historic bottom, currently averaging about $5/cwt below production costs.
"We need action now for many of us to survive and to be able to continue to supply Missouri consumers with a wholesome, locally produced milk supply.  Our request to Governor Nixon for a one time emergency payment of $2/cwt on January through June milk production would pump $16.48 million into Missouri's rural economy with an extended impact of $115.36 million to $164.8 million," says Purdom.
"Other states are looking at the Federal stimulus money to help their dairy producers," says Dave Drennan, MDA Executive Director.  "We saw a news report recently from a dairy meeting in New York state where New York Congressman Eric Massa said state delegations are competing for about $1 billion in stimulus funds that was appropriated as part of the original $787 billion package.  At the same meeting, U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota was quoted saying "there's money available" and his Committee "was looking into it".
"Our hope is that Missouri is moving forward with a request for Federal stimulus funds and that the General Assembly grants the authority to Governor Nixon to financially help Missouri's dairy producers sooner than later. 
"Missouri is a milk deficit state now and imports from other states about 1.7 billion pounds of milk to satisfy all of the needs of our consumers.  The state has 110,000 dairy cows with an economic impact of $13,737 per cow or $1.5 billion.  Without the Governor's immediate action, this deficit will continue to expand greatly and Missouri's consumers and economy will suffer," concludes Drennan.

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