Middle Ga. Dairy Farmers Plead for Help

6:18 AM, Oct 9, 2012   |    comments
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It's a common items in many people's fridges: milk.

And if a new farm bill is not passed by Congress by the end of this year, consumers could be the ones paying the price.

According to the National Milk Producers Federation, the cost of milk per gallon could double if the bill is not passed.  Jeff Wooten at Jeff Wooten Dairy in Eatonton says while a small increase in price could help him financially, such a large increase would hurt him.

"You know we need the money, but then again, we don't want it to be a great increase to where we run folks away from the product in the store," Wooten says.

Wooten says he uses funds for feed, fertlizer, fuel, veterinary services, and other things necessary to keep his business afloat.  He says the problem is that farmers only get a small portion of the farm bill money, which also includes money for programs including food stamps.

But even without the help from the federal government, Keith Fielder from the UGA Extension office says the industry is struggling.

"The profit margin between the price of milk and what they're having to pat for their inputs has just been close that if they've been breaking even at all, it's been a just barely situation."

The Senate passed a farm bill in June by a vote of 64-35, but the GOP-controlled House has expressed concern about the $969 billion cost and the inclusion of food stamps.

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