HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff, New York Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker and Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee have renewed their support for the Northeast Dairy Leadership Team, an alliance initiated by a memorandum of understanding signed among the three state departments of agriculture in 2006.
The leadership team was created to establish a vision and promote profitability for the region’s dairy industry.
More than 50 leaders representing all facets of the dairy industry in the three leading northeastern dairy states — New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont — are part of the organization.
The three states’ agriculture departments and Centers for Dairy Excellence fund the Northeast Dairy Leadership Team’s activities.
“Working as a region has been instrumental in helping to establish a new dairy policy, a stronger safety net, expanding forward contracting, and developing a new dairy revenue insurance program,” Secretary Wolff said about the issues that were integral parts of the federal farm bill debate.
The Northeast Dairy Leadership Team recommended nine issues for discussion in the farm bill. This collaborative effort had a positive affect on dairy policy, as eight of the nine areas were included in the farm bill.
“By coming together as a region, we have a greater opportunity to educate consumers on food safety, animal welfare and what we do as dairy producers everyday,” said Wolff.
“The relationship between our three states has been very positive, and has helped expand programs like the dairy profit team program first from Pennsylvania to New York and now into Vermont,” said Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee.
“We need to use the effort to embrace environmental stewardship and energy-related issues.”
“We see tremendous value in this effort, particularly through the exchange of ideas,” said Commissioner Hooker at the leadership team meeting in July.
“With fewer people involved in the dairy industry, we all need to treat each other with a level of deference and respect, which is what I see at these team meetings.”
For more information, visit the Northeast Dairy Leadership Team Web page.