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“Rocky Mountain Farmers Union was very pleased to see USDA Secretary Vilsack’s swift and positive response to the crisis in dairy farming,” said RMFU President Kent Peppler, a Mead, Colo. farmer. “By purchasing nonfat dry milk for nutrition programs, the USDA helps the producer and consumer. Food banks and school programs will benefit from increased availability of dairy products, and our struggling dairy farmers will see some relief.”
Secretary Vilsack announced that the USDA will provide 200 million pounds of nonfat dry milk for domestic food programs, including food banks, the National School Lunch Program, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, and the distribution on Indian reservations. An additional 2.5 million pounds will be made available to other programs, such as the McGovern-Dole International School Lunch Program and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“Farmers Unions across America called on Secretary Vilsack soon after his confirmation to save our dairy industry. Milk has been selling at wholesale prices 10-20 percent below production cost, driving many producers out of business. Dairy herds are going to slaughter and family businesses are bankrupted. The situation is still pretty bad, but this move by the USDA makes some light at the end of the tunnel,” Peppler stated.
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