Milk for $8 a gallon? Passing a new farm bill could stop that

By: Jorge Lopez Email
By: Jorge Lopez Email

News12 / Friday Nov. 1, 2013

WAYNESBORO, GAa. (WRDW) -- "It's ridiculous. It didn't used to be $4 a gallon. It's gone up a lot over the last couple of years," said Lisa Oliphant.

And the price of milk could get even higher. In January moms like Oliphant could pay double-- $8 for a gallon if congress doesn't pass a new farm bill soon.

"We'll be drinking a lot less milk cause you know that's just crazy," she told News12.

"It's going to hurt us all," said farmer Jimmy Franks.

Hundreds of cows roam Franks' dairy farm in Waynesboro. He says subsidies from the bill benefits both the farmer and consumer.

"If the farm bill isn't passed in some aspect it's going to create a higher price on everybody's food. That's what keeps a lot of prices down in the grocery store," he said.

Franks rejects the idea that federal help is just a hand out. He says that money helps make sure food is safe, keeps hazardous chemicals, like the ones used overseas out, and keeps the cost of production low.

"The week before last I paid $2 and I think 85 cents for a half gallon," said Elizabeth Thomas.

Thomas no longer has kids at home, but says milk was always a part of home cooked meals. She still buys a gallon of milk when it's a good deal and uses one method to make sure it does not spoil in the fridge.

"I split it in half, do one half in the refrigerator and the other half in the freezer." she told News12.

As Oliphant heads home to enjoy a glass of milk--she hopes the farm bill passes soon - before prices turn sour.

"Farmers are the base of this country and they are doing a hard job and we need to help them out. We lost too many farmers i think," she told News12.

The Farm Bill conference kicked off this week and members of both houses of congress are working to write a new five year deal that keeps both Democrats and Republicans happy. Food stamps are attached to that farm bill and Republicans have been very vocal about wanting to reduce that funding.

The House of Representatives is on recess for a week starting Thursday-- some say it could be until Thanksgiving if not longer before a deal is reached.

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