Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dairy News

Ritter photo

Washington- In an effort to help support both low-income families and the the nation's struggling dairy farmers, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA will transfer approximately 200 million pounds of nonfat dry milk from the Commodity Credit Corporation to USDA's Food and Nutrition Service to feed the hungry.

"President Obama understands that providing food to those in need will help many weather these tough economic times," said Secretary Vilsack. "At the same time, USDA's disposal plan will benefit dairy farmers, who have seen markets disappear and prices plummet in recent months, by increasing consumption of milk and other dairy products."

The nonfat dry milk was acquired by Commodity Credit under the Dairy Product Price Support Program. Under this program, CCC purchases dry milk, butter and cheddar cheese at near market level prices. The purchases support the prices of dry milk, butter, and cheese and the price farmers receive for milk.

Jerry Kozak, president of the National Milk Producers Federation, said Vilsack's announcement was an important first step to use USDA resources to help address the economic crisis facing dairy farmers.

USDA will make available about 200 million pounds of dry milk for further processing or barter. The acquired products are expected to include items such as instantized dry milk, ultra high temperature milk, cheese, and soups for domestic feeding programs.

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