New insurance program keeps dairy farms afloat

SHERBURNE – With a new program in place to help protect local dairy farmers from lost income, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is now urging the United States Department of Agriculture to educate farmers on insurance options to keep their business out of the red.

The new Dairy Insurance Program, passed in February as part of the new five-year Farm Bill, will replace the outgoing Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program which is set to expire on Sept. 1. Schumer says the new insurance program is a significant improvement over MILC in protecting farmers from lost income due to natural disasters.

But with a new program comes a need for outreach and education, and farmers need to know what steps to take to protect themselves, he said.

On Monday, Schumer visited the Van Althuis Farm in Sherburne where he called on the USDA to prioritize $6 million for farmer education on crop and insurance programs for New York dairy farmers. Funding for technical assistance and outreach will help farmers make informed decisions about how much of their business they should cover and at what level.

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