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Cuomo: We must match Upstate farmers with need across New York

– By Gabriel Pietrorazio

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he will launch the Nourish New York Initiative during his daily briefing yesterday.

The new initiative aims at addressing the waste issues that dairy farmers are raising about how some farms are being forced by cooperatives to dump their milk because of storage restrictions, but also a declining demand for dairy products like milk yogurt, cheese, sour cream in supermarkets across the state and even nationwide due to COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have people Downstate who need food. We have farmers Upstate who cannot sell their product. We have to put those two things together. It’s just common sense. We have to make that marriage between product Upstate and need Downstate,” Cuomo said.

As a result, Cuomo intends on essentially subsidizing dairy products in the form of allocating $25 million from the state to purchase milk and other dairy items from regional cooperatives.

However, none of the purchased goods will go to waste, according to the Governor.

Rather than buying all of the products and letting them spoil just to compensate dairy farmers for their losses, Cuomo plans on donating all purchased perishables to food banks throughout New York state.

Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of The Daily Debrief on this subject and more!

Hear from the voices of Kim Shellie, a partner at El-Vi Farms in Newark and Libby Eiholzer, a bilingual dairy specialist at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Geneva, as they candidly assess the current status of the dairy industry in New York state and how it has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.