New standards will help dairy farmers meet yogurt industry needs
On Wednesday, Rep. Kathy Hochul (NY-26) applauded New York State Commissioner of Agriculture Darrel J. Aubertine's announcement that the threshold for concentrated animal feeding operations regulations will be raised from 200 cows to 300 cows, providing dairy farmers relief from burdensome regulations. Recently, Hochul sent a letter to New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo urging him to take action to help milk producers expand their businesses. The higher threshold, consistent with national standards, will allow dairy farmers to increase milk production, enabling them to fulfill the needs of New York's growing yogurt industry.
"I am pleased that New York state has recognized the need to ease regulations on our dairy farmers at this important time for New York's agricultural community. This adjustment will allow our dairy producers to capitalize on the booming yogurt industry by allowing for expansion without facing additional compliance costs. I look forward to continuing to work with Western New York's dairy farmers and strengthen the region's economy," Hochul said.
Located in the heart of the 26th District, the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park will soon be home to Theo Muller Gmbh and PepsiCo's $206 million yogurt manufacturing facility, as well as a $20 million Alpina Food yogurt plant.
Hochul has introduced bipartisan legislation that allows dairy farmers to apply for H-2A visas, which are available for seasonal agricultural producers but not the year-round dairy industry. She also is a member of the House dairy caucus.