WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, has learned that Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has appointed Thompson’s nominee, Erick Coolidge of Wellsboro, to the Dairy Advisory Committee created this year within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA.
Thompson was joined by five other Pennsylvania Congressmen in making the nomination: Jim Gerlach, R-Chester Springs, Joe Pitts, R-Kennett Square, Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, Todd Platts, R-York County, and Charles Dent, R-Allentown.
“This is truly great news that Pennsylvania’s dairy farmers will have a seat at the table when suggestions and ideas are presented to the Secretary of Agriculture on dairy issues,” said Thompson. “Dairy farmers are still not earning the profit they deserve and many small farms across the country are still struggling to stay in business.”
“Erick Coolidge is a longtime dairy producer –a fourth generation dairy farmer with nearly 45 years of experience in the industry both on and off the farm. He currently is a Tioga County Commissioner. He has served in various capacities in many agriculture and dairy organizations in Pennsylvania and he will be a valuable asset to the Advisory Committee,” said Thompson.
According to the USDA, the purpose of the new committee is to review the issues of farm milk price volatility and dairy farmer profitability and to provide suggestions and ideas to Secretary Vilsack on how USDA can best address these issues to meet the dairy industry’s needs.
Coolidge will serve a 2-year term as part of the 15-member group representing industry, producers and their organizations, consumers, academia, retailers and state agencies involved in dairy.