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Canadian politics could spread trouble throughout the local dairy industry


American and Canadian dairy farmers are in a trade skirmish, as a series of Canadian governments want to cut off the flow of American milk products.

It's hard-fought enough that Governor Cuomo has written to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to complain and 23-American agriculture commissioners recently met with Canadian officials. It's part of a series of farm trade struggles, like Canada and Mexico winning a trade fight against an American law requiring the country of origin on meat products. New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton says there are a lot of jobs and farm finances at stake.

"We have the plant in Batavia and Cayuga Milk Ingredients in Auburn. Those plants, there was huge investments made in those plants by the farmer-owners of the co-ops that own those plants and they're in possible trouble of losing a great portion of that investment if this continues forward," Norton said.

Those plants produce milk power and ultra-filtered milk which is used for cheese. Canadian dairy farmers in Ontario and Quebec have a great deal of political power and are pushing their governments to stop all American dairy products from coming across the border while continuing to ship Canadian food and meat products into the U.S.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.