Despite the decline in the number of farms, national milk production rose 15 percent from 2001 to 2009, according to The U.S. Department of Agriculture, as reported by The Chicago Tribune.
Some in Congress want to replace long-standing safety nets for dairy farmers with new ones that better reflect the challenges they face.
The debate comes as Congress gears up its debt-reducing "supercommittee" compelled to cut billions in federal programs, potentially affecting dairy subsidies. The outcome of any new policy, meanwhile, could affect not only those who milk cows and process dairy products, but consumers' costs as well.
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