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Coronavirus Response Plan Provides Welcome Aid for Dairy

Coronavirus Response Plan Provides Welcome Aid for Dairy

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

Earlier this week, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) appealed to Congress and outlined the challenges ahead for the dairy industry as a result of the development of COVID-19. Now, Congress has successfully crafted a bipartisan package to provide support and relief for the dairy and agricultural producers, among others. The measure is expected to create a $9.5 billion coronavirus agricultural disaster fund that specifically includes livestock and dairy producers.

Jim Mulhern, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Milk Producers Federation“Dairy farmers have worked 24/7 to produce safe, affordable, and nutritious products for families throughout the coronavirus crisis, even as their own economic outlook grows darker,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF. “Forecasts for milk prices have dropped significantly in the past month, with greater declines possible as the COVID-19 outbreak continues. We are very grateful that Congress understands the significant economic challenges our farmers face and is rising to that challenge on a bipartisan basis.”

Congress is expected to pass quickly the Senate’s coronavirus relief package, released yesterday, March 26, 2020. In addition to creating $9.5 billion in aid, the measure will provide critical assistance to small businesses that are a key link in the entire dairy supply chain, overall boosting finances and morale during this crucial time.

The bill also provides $14 billion in additional funding for the Commodity Credit Corporation that USDA can use to assist producers.

“We commend the bipartisan Senate negotiations that produced this outcome. We especially wish to thank Senators Chuck Schumer and Debbie Stabenow for ensuring that dairy farmers will receive significant support,” Mulhern continued. “Their work greatly improved this bill. We look forward to its passage.”

Congress' measure is expected to create a $9.5 billion coronavirus agricultural disaster fund that specifically includes livestock and dairy producers

This kind of support is exactly what the dairy industry needs, and the NMPF was grateful to a couple of key legislators who helped in the formation of this bill. According to a press release, the NMPF is grateful to the following individuals:

  • House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson for putting forward multiple dairy provisions in the House of Representatives that will be helpful as the coronavirus-driven economic situation evolves
  • Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson for his ongoing advocacy and work during this challenging process
  • Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for his Department’s proactive, ongoing work to help agriculture manage the impacts of COVID-19

“Secretary Perdue and his team have worked tirelessly to assist dairy and all of agriculture as we deal with the challenges of this pandemic by taking actions across the scope of the agency to provide flexibility and assistance. We are very thankful for their collaboration,” Mulhern concluded.

The NMPF will continue to work with Congress and the Trump Administration on the additional legislative and administrative responses that are anticipated in upcoming weeks. Deli Market News will continue to follow along with any and all breaking updates, so stay tuned.

National Milk Producers Federation