It's no secret New York farmers are struggling and have been for years. It's hard to stay afloat when milk prices are way below the cost to produce it. The tough times have hit the Fitch Farm, where we lent a few #FarmHands this year. They have been forced to sell the family farm that has been operating for decades.

Robin Fitch has written letters to Farm Aid and political figures, sharing the life of a farmer and their struggles to survive, begging to pass the Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act. Read her story:

"My 25 year-old son who wants nothing more than to continue farming, is talking (sobbing uncontrollably) to the farm net counselor. You feel your heart breaking as your 13 year old walks by crying also. This is what family farming is about.

As I feed my calves this morning and I was brought to tears thinking of my babies going somewhere else to be raised. Just then the auction guy walks in the barn to look over the animals and see what can be done. The only way to feel is like giving your kids up for adoption. This was a traumatic day on the farm and for the family.

Dairy farmers have taken a 45% pay cut this year. Imagine having the same job but your boss pays you 45% less. As we sit trying to figure out how to keep our heads above water and just keep the creditors happy, we read how New York is passing legislation to help people enter into farming, because they are worried there is no next generation to take over. I have a next generation! I have a 25 year old son who loves the cows and does an awesome job as herdsman, milker, breeder, vet, record keeper, and many other jobs. We are offering a person without the knowledge all kinds of opportunities to farm, but yet they don't realize you’re setting them up for failure. Because we have a broken system on how we price milk. Where my son has the knowledge to be your next generation. He knows how hard we are trying to keep going month after month. We have an outstanding feed bill, our barn needs repairs, and he just can't work 18 hours a day and get even enough to cover the costs.

Imagine a 25 year-old who is not worried about going out and spending but just wants to make enough to pay the bills, who is not afraid to get up at 4:00 and work till 2:00 in the morning with no naps, coffee or sometimes lunch breaks. The kid who loves the cows just like family, who wanted to keep improving the herd and who just wanted to supply people with quality milk and do what he loves. Not many kids I know are like this, but yet we will sit back and watch his farm that he loves and has worked so hard for slip away and offer some new guy great deals. Seems a little bit backwards to me.

My 13 year-old daughter, who loves the cows, her mini horses, her mini goats and all her kittens, who knows we are bringing in the cattle dealer, cries herself to sleep. You try looking that little girl in the face and telling her the government can't figure a way to pay a fair price for your milk.

My husband has done this day in and day out for about 45 years. He worked hard providing a way of life for his family, taught us to love the land and our animals. He taught us how to fight together as well as work together. He taught us to smile over the animals who were just born and cry over the ones who are like family that you just lost. Who after heart surgery was back doing his work after 8 days. I help move with his equipment from field to field at 1:00 am as all the houses along the way have people sleeping and getting up to put milk on their cereal, never once thinking about the guy who did the work to make that happen.

Then there is me who is trying to hold it all together, trying to lean on God to hold me up so I can hold up the others. I'm the one crying in the car on the way to get parts because I'm trying to be strong. I'm the one who has fought to get better milk prices so this won't happen to families, trying to figure out how can you make it all right when it is not. I feel this is my way of giving back, by raising good quality animals that give people good quality milk that keeps them safe, especially in this crazy world, we need safe food.

This is all because the cost of making milk is much higher than what we get back. I can't get $12 -$14 a hundred weight when it cost $23.


I wish it was passed sooner. Maybe I would not be having a cattle dealer at my farm to assess my cows and start the process of selling out."

This is just one of many stories farmers are facing n New York. Cindy Gallagher who runs a farm with her husband in Waterville says "if you want to help, call your state and federal representatives. Every 7 cows in NY equals 1 job. So imagine what the dairy crisis is doing to the economy in rural America. No easy answers-- but let people know the crisis is important to all of us!"

Peter Vitaliano with National Milk Producers Federation tells the Bullvine, the average US milk producer is losing $7.21 per hundredweight.

If something isn't done soon, New York farmers don't have a prayer and the Fitch family won't be the last forced to sell their farm.

MORE: Polly Inseminates a Cow on the Fitch Farm

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