Agriculture Workshop Comment Number: AGW-14174

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Comment Number: AGW-14174

From: Lorraine Lewandrowski
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 4:02 PM
To: ATR-Agricultural Workshops
Subject: Comment-Agricultural concentration issues

I am an attorney representing numerous dairy farmers in New York State.  I can't emphasize how important it is for there to be viable competition within the US dairy and meat sector.  Here in NY, the number of outlets for sale of cull dairy cattle has decreased dramatically over the past decade.  Currently, all cull dairy cattle from central NY must be shipped on a long trailer ride to Pennsylvania to the Cargill owned facility.  This provides a very limited opportunity for market action with only one large buyer.  This also makes for a long trip for cattle to a far away facility.  As to the milk markets, limited markets also exist.  During the past twenty years, numerous milk handlers have been acquired and re-aquired resulting in dramatically fewer outlets for dairy farmers to ship milk.  I personally recall the situation twenty years ago, where numerous milk handlers engaged in active competition, going directly to dairy farms offering premiums for steady milk supplies.  We are not seeing that today.
   New York State has roughly 6,000 dairy farms with a huge economic presence in numerous counties.  The DOJ examination of concentration in ag marketplace structure is appreciated.  Sincerely, Lorraine H. Lewandrowski, 430 North Main Street, Herkimer, NY 13350 (315) 866-0007
Updated April 7, 2016

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