On Monday, August 13, Agri-Mark Dairy Cooperative hosted a day long Dairy Summit at the Empire Convention Center in Albany, New York.
The purpose of the summit was to explore potential solutions to the ongoing dairy crisis that has plagued our region’s dairy farmers for four years, and which shows no signs of weakening in the foreseeable future.
Bob Wellington, Agri-Mark Dairy Cooperative’s Senior Economist, Communications and Legislative Affairs Vice President, organized and moderated the meeting. Joining him in discussing the supply programs of the past was Catherine de Ronde, an Agri-Mark Economist. Ben Laine, Senior Economist from CoBank, discussed ongoing supply programs. Following a lunch break, Marlis Carlson, Sr. VP and General Counsel from the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, and Todd Eskelsen, of the Eskelsen Law Group LLC, outlined lessons to be learned from other commodities. A Canadian dairy farmer and member of the Dairy Farmers of Ontario Board, Nick Thurler, described the Canadian quota system, and Bob Gray of Northeast Dairy Farms Cooperatives, gave the Washington legislative perspective to the dairy issue.
After these briefings, the floor was opened to the over 350 attendees, who were invited to bring forward proposals for solutions to the problem. These proposals, and others newly posted, can be seen here. We suggest you review these ideas and submit your comments. A survey is being developed based on these proposals The objective of the survey will be for stakeholders to choose the plan or combination of plans they like best. An action plan will come from a consensus of survey results. We will notify you when that is online.