Cheaper Energy at a Cost

By Brandi Bailey

September 13, 2012 Updated Sep 13, 2012 at 6:34 PM EDT

Whitney Point, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It's not a completely new idea, but Senator Charles Schumer is hoping to renew an initiative to support New York's Dairy Farmers and the growth of the Greek Yogurt Demand.

Senator Charles Schumer is working to revive the 1603 Energy Grant Program as a way to keep up with the Greek Yogurt Boom, and help dairy farmers across the state stay afloat.

"It's a great idea to encourage area industry. I never want to stop that," said farmer, Judy Whittaker.

Schumer is proposing that farmers place Biodigesters on their land.

It's a machine that uses manure to turn into energy.

"A project that could be a couple million dollars and a grant fund of 30 percent. There's 70 percent you need to find a way to provide," says Whittaker.

Senator Schumer says the federal government will pay 35 percent of the installation costs for the Biodigesters, but that's not enough for local farmers.

"When you've got a milk price somewhere around $17 and your cost of productions that exceeding that. It's really difficult to jump in too excitedly into projects because your still trying to find funding to keep going day to day," said Whittaker.

Schumer admits the costs are high for one farm to take on alone.

"For a farmer of 100 or 200 cows to do it alone is too much, but they can band together," said Senator Schumer.

The demand for Milk is the highest in years and Senator Schumer says New York need to keep up in order to keep the industry local.

"Anything that will keep farms in our local areas providing their fresh local product that everybody needs I encourage that," said Whittaker.

There's yet to be a definite answer on whether the grant will be renewed or what dollar amount will be released.