Senator Baldwin had called on USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack for additional action, new purchase was announced today in Westby
WASHINGTON, D.C – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin applauded today’s announcement from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack of a new $20 million cheddar cheese purchase.
“Keeping our Grown in Wisconsin economy strong means ensuring our rural communities and farms make it through this challenging time for the dairy industry. Today’s announcement in Wisconsin is a positive step forward. I will continue to work with dairy farmers to update and improve the dairy safety net so that it works for Wisconsin.”
Previously, Senator Baldwin sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter with 60 other lawmakers to Secretary Vilsack asking for assistance for dairy producers struggling with declining milk prices.
The purchase, announced by Secretary Vilsack today at the Westby Cooperative Creamery after a roundtable discussion with dairy producers, will use non-taxpayer funds to reduce the cheese surplus that has reached record levels, while assisting food banks and other food assistance recipients. Section 32 of the Agriculture Act of 1935 authorizes USDA to purchase surplus food to benefit food banks and families in need through its nutrition assistance programs.