New York Senator Chuck Schumer is warning of the dangers of heading over the "dairy cliff" if a new Farm Bill isn't passed by January 1st. Schumer says the bill affects not only the producer but also the consumer. Maria Valvanis reports.
SALEM, N.Y. -- It'd be hard for Seth McEachron to imagine life without his more than 100-year-old family creamery. But if the 2012 Farm Bill isn't passed by January 1st, the future of creameries and farms across the country could be in jeopardy.
"Is my farm going to go out of business January 10th if we don't pass the bill? We hope not, but at the end of the day, we don't know," said Eric Ooms, Vice President Farm Bureau.
"We need to pass this bill, because the dairy cliff will have a very bad impact on our consumers, and our dairy farmers, and the entire dairy industry," said Sen. Schumer.
Without the bill, the nation will revert back to 1940s law. Schumer says farmers will face a future with no Milk Incorporated Loss Contract, which provides federal assistance when milk prices fluctuate. And that jug of milk he just bought could double in price.
"The MILC still does affect us if the prices do drop below the threshold, we are still able to get some federal support," said Seth McEachron.
The bill was passed by the Senate. Schumer says the holdup is coming from the House. Some Congress members don't believe federal money should be used for agriculture. But Schumer says passing the bill would be a high-five all the way around.
"This new Farm Bill will save the federal tax payers $23 billion, and it's better for our farmers," said Sen. Schumer.
Now, Schumer says the bill is one of Washington's top priorities in the upcoming day. And he promised everyone he personally would work very hard to get it addressed.