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Lawmakers expected to decide on looming 'Milk Cliff' - abc27 WHTM

Lawmakers expected to decide on looming 'Milk Cliff'

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

If milk prices double, then it could only go half as far—and in a family of seven, one mother told abc27 that she has already had to restrict.

"If we didn't say, 'You can only have one glass of milk a day other than your cereal,' then we would probably go through a gallon a day," said the mother of five.  

Of course there are other options in the dairy aisle, but most are not recommended for young children—plus the Farm Bill impacts the entire agricultural community. For example, soybean farmers.

Without a new bill by Jan. 31, food prices across the board could destabilize.

Last month, a local dairy farmer voiced his concern. "Milk is not something you have to have," said Jason Nailor. "It's a very nutritious product but for $7 dollars a gallon I'm sure people might find something else—and that's not always a good thing."

Jennifer Granitz, Director of the 'Follow Me!' DayCare Center in Harrisburg, agrees.

"The fatty acids in milk are essential in brain development, especially through to age 2," she said.

The childcare center orders about 30 gallons of milk each week. Granitz says that they would more likely consider raising tuition instead of cutting back.

"While they may be grabbing a PopTart for breakfast, at least we can offer them milk to go with it," she added.

If Congress fails to come up with a solution, 1940s' "permanent policy" requires milk to be bought and sold by the government at twice the going rate.

Prices though would not likely rise until spring, giving some families time to get creative

"My husband has always talked about getting goats, so that may be our other option!" joked the mother of five.

A large part of the farm bill debate was nutrition; now the debate has turned to farming subsidies.  There's a deal to cut $9 billion from food stamps over 10 years.
 
The $2 trillion dollar farm bill has taken two years to pass. A decision is expected to come this week.

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