Gillibrand fighting to help dairy farmers

The first time that I met U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the flesh was something of a story. I wish I had the room here to tell it properly. But sitting down at the conference table with her, I’ll never forget the first words out of her mouth after a polite greeting, in response to a complaint about milk prices: “Oh, $17 per hundredweight is absolutely screwing us.” She then launched into a long and completely off-the-cuff speech that taught me more about dairy pricing than I’d ever known, even living my entire life in cow country.

She concluded by saying that we needed to reform dairy prices the next time the Farm Bill came up – in 2012.

That was almost four years ago. On Dec. 13, I read an article talking about her efforts to keep in the new Farm Bill an amendment to allow more flexibility in dairy prices so that dairy farms are profitable even in bad times. It reminded me of all the reasons I’m impressed by Gillibrand – not just her knowledge of issues important to her constituents, but her steadfast resolve to address them, no matter what or when, even years later.

Adama D. Brown