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U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement on USDA Payment to Dairy Farmers

WASHINGTON, D.C Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $11.2 million in financial assistance to American dairy producers enrolled in the 2016 Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy). The Margin Protection Program is an insurance program that makes payments to dairy farmers when the margin between the price of milk and cost of feed falls below a certain level. Farmers pay for the insurance, and can choose their preferred coverage level when enrolling. The program is available through the USDA Farm Service Agency, and farmers have until September 30, 2016 to enroll for 2017 coverage. 

“Keeping our economy strong means ensuring our rural communities and farms make it through this challenging time for the dairy industry. While USDA’s announcement today is a positive step, additional action is necessary to support our dairy farmers that work hard every day to move our Grown in Wisconsin economy forward.  The dairy industry is taking a hard look at the dairy margin program, and I will continue to work with dairy farmers to update and improve the dairy safety net so that it works for Wisconsin.” 

Last week, Senator Baldwin sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter with 60 other lawmakers to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack asking for assistance for dairy producers struggling with declining milk prices. Specifically, the members asked the USDA to use its authority under the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to expand and maintain U.S. domestic markets.