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Dairy Trade Group Urges Sununu To Veto Bill Designed To Help N.H. Dairy Farmers

Hannah McCarthy / NHPR

A regional dairy association is urging Governor Sununu to veto a bill that some of its members support.

The Dairy Premium Fund bill would create a local dairy label, priced higher to increase revenue for New Hampshire farmers who chose to participate.

But the Northeast Dairy Foods Association says families won't pay extra for milk, even if they know it's local. 

"They may say they want to help the dairy farmers but studies and past examples of these types of programs have shown otherwise," says Bruce Krupke, the vice president of the association.

Krupke says similar branding attempts in Maine and Vermont haven't saved the dairy industry there.

Krupke warns that the middlemen - including processors and distributors - will pick up the tab for packaging and selling the pricier milk, without any guarantee that it will sell.

But supporters of the bill - including farmers with Agri-Mark, a member of the Northewast Dairy Foods Assocation - say that with dwindling revenue for local dairy farms, it's an experiment worth trying.

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.
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