Farmers rally for fair milk prices

COVENTRY – Mid-morning on a cold October day, most dairy farmers would be engrossed in their daily farm chores or harvesting acres of corn. But yesterday, more than 100 area farmers put off these important tasks to raise their voices about the current state of the dairy industry.

“This is our life. This is all of our lives,” said Mary Klecha-Conroe of Maple Dream Farm in Coventry, where 130 farmers, agriculture advocates and state politicians gathered for a rally Tuesday.

Organized by Assemblyman Cliff Crouch (R,I - Guilford) and Chenango County Farm Bureau President Bradd Vickers, the event was designed to draw attention to the plight faced by dairy producers who are struggling to survive on current milk prices, which have fallen well below the average cost of production.

“People need to realize it’s not bad, it’s catastrophic,” said Assemblyman Tony Jordan (R,C - Jackson), who also attended the rally, along with Assemblyman Jim Bacalles (R,C,I - Corning).

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