The Cornell Daily Sun reports New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget cuts would close the Cornell Pro-Dairy program, hindering the competitiveness of the state’s dairy industry.

Prof. Tom Overton, director of the Pro-Dairy program said he was notified by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets the program’s budget will be eliminated, but the director of communications for the Department of Agriculture and Markets says funding has not yet been finalized. Cuomo’s proposed budget includes a 10 percent cut for The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Pro-Dairy conducts research, discussion groups, educational programs and financial analysis to aid the state dairy industry. The program’s $822,500 budget was funded entirely by the Department of Agriculture and Markets. If funding is cutoff and the program is unable to gain support from the state budget, programs will cease on March 31 and nine specialist positions will be terminated.

Dairy industry members say the program is vital and are lobbying the state government to avert the proposed cuts. The Northeast Dairy Producers Association led  a conference call with other dairy leaders and will present a letter to legislature showing support for Pro-Dairy.

To Pete Dueppengiesser, a dairy farmer from Perry, N.Y., ending the Pro-Dairy program would have a significant effect on the industry. He would be able to find some resources, but there aren’t any programs that match the intensity or magnitude of the Pro-Dairy program.

Source: The Cornell Daily Sun