New York farmers call for reform in order to help feed growing yogurt industry

The Farm Bureau of New York reported today that New York farmers are testifying at four public hearings across the state about the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) and the effect it will have on their farms.

Currently, there is a costly measure in place that regulates any farm that has over 199 cows. This measure has forced many dairy operations to keep their business small to avoid penalties, but it has also limited the amount of fresh-local milk that is available to the booming yogurt industry.

"My son is the seventh generation on our family our farm. We have always taken our stewardship of the land seriously because we fully expect to pass it on to another generation. This change in CAFO threshold would be extremely helpful to us with a modest expansion to better accommodate the next generation. I firmly believe that we can be environmentally responsible for far less cost than current CAFO requirements would demand. The current CAFO threshold only serves to force small farms to become much larger farms or go out of business,â?? said Tom Borden, dairy farmer and Washington County Farm Bureau President.

The call for reform is coming on the heels of Governor Cuomoâ??s recent yogurt summit, detailing the desire to keep the milk that feeds this industry coming from local farmers.