Corman calls for priority in addressing dairy crisis
Urges incentives for PA-based processing plant
HARRISBURG — Underscoring the gravity of the state’s dairy crisis, Sen. Jake Corman (R-34) Wednesday called on the Wolf administration to develop an incentive plan for a dairy processing plant to locate in Pennsylvania.
“We offer incentives to other companies to locate in Pennsylvania,” said Corman, who was the keynote speaker at the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Legislative Conference. “We need to place the same value on dairy as we do technology and e-commerce. We must do what we can to entice a dairy processing plant back to Pennsylvania.”
The Wolf administration released a report in January that said two new dairy processing plants in Pennsylvania could significantly reduce overall supply chain costs and enhance the marginal value of milk for producers while adding jobs and more than $1 billion in economic activity to the state. The governor said he has written letters asking processing plants to locate in the Commonwealth, but Corman said more aggressive action needs to be taken.
“We need to make dairy farming and agriculture a priority,” Corman said. “It’s nice to talk about supporting the agriculture community in Pennsylvania. But we need to take action that will attract a processing facility to locate here in order to help our farmers all while stimulating our local economies.”
Pennsylvania is fifth in the nation for milk production. Dairy farmers face low prices for milk, increasing production costs and a market where supply outpaces demand. Dairy prices have decreased 40 percent from about $25 per hundredweight in milk in 2014 (100 pounds or 11.6 gallons of milk) to about $15 currently.