February 21, 2014

(Concord, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) visited Bartlett Farm Dairy this afternoon to discuss her efforts to include provisions in the 2014 bipartisan Farm Bill that will protect small dairy farms and the jobs they support. The bill includes a new dairy program with a restructured safety net that takes into account the price of milk and the cost of feeding livestock and includes significantly lower premiums for small dairy farms.

“Small dairy farms are important to our state, not only because of the jobs they create and the open space they protect, but because they are part of New Hampshire’s identity,” Shaheen said. “I fought to include protections for small dairy farms in the 2014 Farm Bill that will help keep milk prices stable, prevent drastic fluctuations, and most importantly, protect New Hampshire jobs. And I will continue to work with New Hampshire stakeholders to protect small farms in the Granite State.”

Earlier this month during last minute negotiations to the 2014 Farm Bill, it appeared that provisions that would hurt small New Hampshire dairy farmers were going to be included in the final legislation.  At that time, Shaheen called the Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and demanded changes to protect small farms in New Hampshire; Shaheen specifically relayed concerns of New Hampshire stakeholders and as a result, protections for small farms like New Hampshire’s were ultimately included in the final law.

Shaheen has long been a strong advocate for protections for small dairy farms. When low milk prices reached a crisis point in 2009, Shaheen met with dairy farmers and Secretary Vilsack at a dairy roundtable to address the effects on dairy farmers and fought for direct aid to dairy farms.