Vermont Continues Work to Address Dairy Crisis at the Federal Level
Dennise R. Casey, (802) 828-3333
Kelly Loftus, Agency of Agriculture, (802) 828-3829
Friday, July 31, 2009
Montpelier, Vt –U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the USDA will temporarily increase purchase prices for cheese and nonfat dry milk providing much needed relief to struggling farmers. The prices will rise from $1.13 per pound for block cheese to $1.31; barrel cheese, from $1.10/lb. to $1.28; nonfat dry milk powder, from $0.80/lb. to $0.92. This has the potential to increase the price paid to farmers for milk by $1.25 to $1.50 per hundredweight.
“We are incredibly pleased that Secretary Vilsack has raised the dairy support prices. This is a first and important step to relieve some of the financial stress Vermont dairy farmers and dairy farmers across the nation are experiencing,” said Governor Douglas. “I want to thank our Congressional Delegation for their work on this important issue.
“We have all been working hard to encourage USDA to raise dairy support prices to bring some immediate relief to dairy farmers. I want to commend our Congressional Delegation for acknowledging the severity of the crisis and working with Secretary Vilsack to make this happen quickly,” said Vermont Agriculture Secretary Roger Allbee.
Under the Dairy Product Price Support Program, the USDA serves as a buyer of last resort to help clear commodity dairy markets during periods of exceptionally low farm-level prices. A coalition of Northeast governors and agriculture officials, including Governor Douglas and Agriculture Secretary Roger Allbee, have been working together to find ways to bring immediate help to dairy farmers.
“This is a very complex and difficult challenge for agriculture in Vermont. While we are going to continue to do all we can to support struggling farmers in this time of need, action at the federal level is necessary in order to achieve lasting solutions,” said Governor Douglas. “The progress made on these dairy issues is the culmination of more than six months of work between my office, the Agency of Agriculture led by Secretary Allbee and the entire Vermont Congressional Delegation, who have been working diligently to bring these issues to Washington on behalf of Vermont’s dairy farmers.”
Public Information Officer
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
116 State Street • Montpelier, VT 05620 • www.vermontagriculture.com