Beach to support farmers
by Ron Gregory
Morgantown — Democrat state Agriculture Commissioner candidate Bob Beach has announced that, if elected, He will
propose legislation aimed at helping dairy farms survive and hopefully entice new producers to get into the business.
Beach said, “Dairy farms are an important part of the community and the local economy. The economic value of one dairy cow is worth approximately $20,000 to the local economy. So we need to do everything we can to help the producers stay in business and even expand whenever possible. Sadly, herds are disappearing at an alarming rate and we need to do all we can to stop this trend.”
Bob Beach, working with former Assistant Agriculture Commissioner and Dairy Specialist Steve Miller, says he has crafted legislation giving producers a substantial tax break when they receive a price that is under the cost of production.
“A well-structured and tiered tax credit could help offset the cost of production and give struggling farmers relief during difficult market times, Beach said.
He said it’s important to note that other commodity groups like beef, sheep, hogs, etc., fluctuate from time to time due to unstable market conditions. Recently, many of those numbers have climbed because live markets have pretty much gone to the lowest levels in years.
So producers tend to retain their livestock rather than sell at a loss.
“Tax relief could be the difference between dairy farmers staying in business or getting out. Dairy farming is a little different in that you just can’t get in and out in a heartbeat. In
addition, besides the economic benefits, local dairy farms make good sense. Why haul milk hundreds or even thousands of miles to a processor when it can be done right here
in West Virginia,” Beach added.
He said he understands food security and food safety are other extremely important facets that must be considered as well.
Beach, a senator from Monongalia County is challenging Republican incumbent Kent Leonhardt in the general election.