Thompson Announces Erick Coolidge Named Vice Chairman Of U.S. Agriculture Dairy Advisory Commission

Mar 19, 2010

Washington, D.C.—Erick Coolidge of Wellsboro has been named vice chairman of the newly created Dairy Advisory Commission under the U.S. Department of Agriculture.   U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, nominated Coolidge to the Commission back in September 2009, and he won the position in January of this year.

“It speaks highly of his qualifications that the Department has chosen Erick as vice chairman before the 15-member group has its first formal meeting the second week of April,” said Thompson.  “The members come from industry, academia, and state agencies involved in dairy.”

“I welcome this position and I am humbled.  It’s a privilege,” said Coolidge. “I have called a number of men and women involved in the industry to ask for their suggestions, and they have responded with ideas on dealing with trade imbalances and price volatility.
“I believe we need to have an honest and forthright discussion that leaves no room for posturing and that we need common sense and consensus in the meetings to get something done quickly,” Coolidge said.  “It is not about any one of us on the commission, it is about an industry.  If we don’t save it, a whole lot of people are not going to be here (on their farms.)”

The USDA has described the commission as meeting to review the issues of farm milk price volatility and dairy farmer profitability and to provide suggestions and ideas to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on how USDA can best address the issues.

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 serves as a Tioga County Commissioner.