U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York has announced his plan to authorize a $5 million pilot program to boost dairy farm profitability and efficiency, particularly on smaller farms.

As an amendment to the Farm Bill now being considered on the Senate floor, Schumer is pushing for this dairy block grant concept, which he says would be similar to the popular specialty crops grant program. This program would help dairy farmers to access technical expertise related to productivity, profitability and environmental stewardship, according to a statement from his office.

Schumer notes that the specialty crop block grant program is popular amongst farmers because it gives state departments of agriculture the flexibility to spend federal money as they see fit, and to cater to the unique needs of each state.

“It’s time we focus our attention on keeping the small dairy farms competitive and on the cuttingedge because they create jobs and multiply economic growth,” he says.