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Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney met with New York dairy producers this week to discuss the lack of competition and unfair milk prices.

The forum, held in Batavia, New York, drew about 200 people. Although Varney spent most of the meeting listening to about 25 dairy farmers and industry officials, she said her sector of the government was aware of the problem.

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A bill that would allow farmers to sell raw, unpasteurized milk directly to consumers has moved out of an Assembly committee. The Rural Economic Development Committee approved the bill 8-1. The move clears the way for a vote in the full Assembly.

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As the dairy industry suffered a huge economic blow in 2009, so did Wisconsin’s agriculture industry. Total receipts from the state’s farm marketings dropped by an estimated $1.8 billion (18 percent) in 2009, with nearly 80 percent of that decline resulting from much smaller milk checks. Coincidently, the equity of the state’s dairy industry also fell by $1.8 billion last year.

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This week DeLaval produced its 2,500th unit of the new Feed Stations FSC40/400 – a solution created to help milk producers maintain greater control over production while reducing input costs. Feeding each cow to her individual needs throughout the lactation cycle increases milk production, optimizes use of feed, helps promote animal welfare, reduces concentrate waste, saves energy and helps cut CO2 emissions.

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During the Western Regional Dairy Challenge held in Twin Falls, Idaho on March 4-6, 50 students from five universities across the Western states were acquainted with a dairy and the problems that can come from family farming on a large scale.

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