Farmers Worry About "Dairy Cliff"

Maureen Wurtz (KPTM)- As the clock ticks down on the fiscal cliff some are also worrying about going over the "dairy cliff". Congress still has to pass an extension to the Farm Bill to keep milk prices from increasing by 50 percent

A local dairy farmer says the government is skimming over the issues to squeeze more money out of your wallet.

Allen Snell is 77 years old. "I started milking a goat when I was seven, and from there on it was showing cattle and milking." Allen say's he's taken a licking these past few years.

"Put the stress on the feeding operations."

The Snell Dairy Farm has 37 cows, which may be small by some standards. It has been a family farm for generations and they don't want to lose it. Snell was farming when the original Farm Bill passed. Back in 1949 there were around 3 million dairy farms. So that meant that there was a lot more milk on the shelves than people buying it. So the government created the law to give those farmers a sense of security. But now it's doing the exact opposite and is providing questions instead of answers.

"Are we going to have to dump it? Are we going to have to reduce how much we produce? Time is pumping away."

If the farm bill isn't extended experts say the price of milk could increase up to fifty percent.

"I don't know where we're headed with the people that have got to go the grocery store and buy that product," Snell said.

"We're concerned that the consumption is going to go down, and we're concerned on what we're going to do with all the extra milk. Worst case scenario, instead of building the heard like we want to do with these beautiful cows, we will have to sell. Sell cows.Selling off a family farm and a future career for more Snell generations," Sue Johnson Snell said.