Missouri dairy farmers want aid from stimulus act

Thursday, August 13, 2009
In this photo taken June 16, dairy cows stand in a field in Coventry, Vt. The Agriculture Department is helping struggling dairy farmers by raising the price paid for milk and cheddar cheese through a dairy price support program. The department estimates the temporary increases, which will be in place until October, will boost dairy farmers' overall revenue by $243 million. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Friday that the price increase will provide immediate relief, helping to keep dairy farmers on the farm while they weather what he called "one of the worst dairy crises in decades." (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri dairy farmers say they need some help from the federal economic stimulus act.

Representatives of the Missouri Dairy Association have asked Gov. Jay Nixon to seek a one-time emergency payment of $16.5 million in stimulus money. They say falling milk prices have put Missouri's dairy farmers in their worst economic crisis in the past 25 years.

Missouri has about 111,000 dairy cows.

A Nixon spokesman referred questions about the dairy farmers' request Wednesday to the state Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture Director Jon Hagler says the U.S. Senate recently voted to raise dairy price supports, and he wants to see the effect as the state considers the need for more assistance.

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