New York Senator Charles Schumer believes the Milk Income Loss Contract program could have a brighter future given the fact that Senate is now controlled by Democrats. And some of those Democrats, Schumer told Newsday, who now hold key leadership positions are staunch supporters of the dairy program.

Schumer listed Senators Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, as key supporters of the MILC program. Harkin is slated to take over the reins of the Agriculture Committee and Leahy is expected to head the ag spending subcommittee. And Schumer himself now holds the No. 3 spot in Democratic leadership within the Senate.

Under current legislation, the MILC program provides payments to producers when the price of Class I milk in Boston falls below $16.94. And Schumer says with current low milk prices, this program is helping dairy farmers survive. The program is set to expire at the end of August 2007 — one month before the Farm Bill expires.

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