CORNING – President Donald Trump announced yesterday a $19 billion relief package for the farming industry, with $16 billion earmarked for direct payments to farmers, but critics are wondering if that will be enough.
Nationwide, farmers have reported that they’ve had to dump excess milk and other products during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Congressman Tom Reed told WNYNewsNow Tuesday that he doesn’t believe the package will be enough.
“I do believe there’s probably going to be a need for addition recover dollars outside of that, but this is a step in the right direction,” Reed said. “It is a step that is necessary, especially when it comes to our dairy farmers.”
Reed tells people to “stay tuned” to see more aid for farmers in a potential Phase Four stimulus package. Phase Four is currently under debate in Congress.
In April,, Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel discussed the struggles that the 1,200-plus farms in Chautauqua County have faced during one of his daily COVID-19 Facebook updates. He says there’s too much milk on the market due to the closure of schools and decline in restaurant sales, causing farms nationwide to dump their excess milk.
The County Executive says there’s more than 150 dairy farms in the County, and he asks that people buy extra dairy products to help support them.
“Please consider buying an extra judge of milk, a block of American-made cheese, or a tub of ice cream,” Wendel said. “According to the Institute for Food Safety at Cornell University, our food system is secure and there are no legitimate threats of food shortages.”