Dairy farmers breathe sigh of relief

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Regional - posted Thu., Dec. 20, 2012
Joan Nichols of the Connecticut Farm Bureau said no one in this session was unscathed. Photos by D. Coffey.
Joan Nichols of the Connecticut Farm Bureau said no one in this session was unscathed. Photos by D. Coffey.

When Gov. Dannel Malloy proposed his Deficit Mitigation Road Map, the initial proposal called for reducing the Community Investment Act by $5 million. “He wanted to sweep the money out of it,” said dairy farmer Paul Miller of Fairvue Farm in Woodstock.

The move would have had drastic consequences for Miller and more than 40 other dairy farmers in Windham County. Miller called the direct payments to dairy farms that come out of the CIA a lifeline. The viability money is crucial in down times, he said.

As of Dec. 19, that $5 million transfer was reduced to $2 million. The bill's language reads: The bill transfers $2 million from the Community Investment Act to the general fund as revenue for fiscal year 2013. It requires that the account's remaining revenues be distributed as required by current law. Under current law, $10 of each fee credited to the Community Investment Act must be deposited in the agricultural sustainability account.

“Two million is better than $5 million,” said Connecticut Farm Bureau's Joan Nichols. “The bill maintains a $10 fee for the agricultural sustainability account,” she said, “which I assume is that safety net for dairy.”


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