Harrisburg, PA – Legislation sponsored by Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) to study the Commonwealth’s dairy industry was approved by the Senate this week.
Senate Resolution 384, which Schwank introduced last week, directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study and issue a report making recommendations for initiatives to assist dairy producers in the Commonwealth in response to the decreasing demand for dairy products and decreasing milk prices.
“Dairy farmers are hurting financially. We’re operating in a global market: There’s an oversupply of milk, fewer people are drinking milk, fewer places process milk and there are far more options to choose from, like so called “nut milks.” This combination has created historically low milk prices,” Schwank said. “It’s time for us to seriously search for solutions on a state level.”
Among the issues to be examined:
Identifying the measures proposed or undertaken by the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to assist dairy producers.Examining the statutes, best practices and proposed measures that other states are using to provide assistance to their dairy producers.Identifying current factors that contribute to the decrease in dairy product consumption and milk prices.Identifying the number and types of specialty dairy products, such as lactose free milk, that are sold in the Commonwealth by out of state dairy producers and examine how milk produced in the Commonwealth can be utilized to meet the increased demand for this specialty dairy products market.
The Legislative Budget and Finance Committee has one year to report all findings and conclusions to the Senate.