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Schumer proposes dairy block grant program

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Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., introduced a block grant program last week for dairy farmers as an amendment to the farm bill now up for debate on the Senate floor.

To be funded at $5 million, the pilot program would be similar to the federal specialty crops grant program, according to a statement from the senator’s office.

The program would issue grants to help farmers obtain access to technical expertise related to productivity, profitability and environmental stewardship.

It would be particularly aimed at helping smaller dairy farms that often don’t have enough resources to hire consultants for such needs.

States would submit funding applications to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and funds would then be available to farmers for assistance.

“Individual dairy farmers can apply for these grants that would open up an avenue for them to receive technical expertise for nutrition, business management and other resources that they wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise,” Mr. Schumer said in a statement. “It’s time we focus our attention on keeping the small dairy farms competitive and on the cutting edge because they create jobs and multiply economic growth.”

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