"The dairy industry is important to the security of Pennsylvania's economy and rural towns," said Casey. "We had a terrific meeting today and I look forward to working with the Carl Shaffer and the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau to ensure our dairy farmers get the critical assistance they need."
In today's meeting, Casey discussed the need for short term relief for dairy farmers. Senator Casey recently visited two dairy farms where he listened to the plight of dairy farmers who are struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis. Dairy farmers are facing a desperate financial situation caused by rapidly increasing costs of production, high feed costs, and low prices for calves.
In today's meeting Casey also updated Shaffer on the 2007 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill will likely contain a number of provisions important to Pennsylvania farmers including improving protections for farmers in the event of natural disasters such as droughts and flooding, providing long-term funding help for dairy farmers, maintaining funding for specialty crops, preserving crop insurance, and increasing federal support for innovative renewable energy projects.
As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Casey will have a key role in helping to write the new farm bill that is up for reauthorization this year. Earlier this year, the Senate Agriculture Committees held a series of hearings around the country to gather information from farmers and other stakeholders on a variety of topics, including crop insurance, commodity programs, rural development, renewable energy and others.