Western New York dairy farmers are concerned about a proposal by the Canadian government to further restrict milk imports. The 400 farmer-members who send their milk to the O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative in Batavia, New York, are especially worried.

There are already restrictions in place for shipping milk to Canada; O-AT-KA breaks milk down into liquid milk protein concentrate, which isn't blocked by current restrictions.

According to YNN Rochester, only five percent of milk and milk products that go through O-At-KA make their way to Canada. But there's also the issue of a $16 million expansion at the plant and the need for new markets.

"We have a number of high profile customers in Canada that we've been doing business with for a number of years. We'd like to continue to grow and develop that business. If those limits are put in place it will limit our ability to expand business with these customers," said Bill Schreiber, O-AT-KA COO.

Farmers are banking on finding expanded outlets for their milk. They'd hate to see the doors to the north close on them.


"If we can move some of this to Canada, it would mean more profit for Western New York dairymen," said O-At-KA member Eric Zuber. PD

—From YNN Rochester (Click here to read the full article.)