Additional Help for Minnesota’s Dairy Farmers

Friday, July 17th, 2009 at 5:25 am

Washington, D.C. – Continuing her efforts to help Minnesota’s dairy farmers struggling with plummeting dairy prices, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, along with other Senators including Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Herb Kohl (D-WI), sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack calling for a temporary boost to the federal price supports in the Dairy Price Support program.

“These tough economic times have hit Minnesota’s farmers especially hard,” said Klobuchar.  “Across Minnesota, dairy farmers have been stung by rising input costs and falling product prices.  We must continue to work to help dairy farmers through this crisis by providing targeted support to stabilize prices.”

With the price of milk and dairy products falling sharply in the past year, Klobuchar has successfully pushed for several measures aimed at helping dairy farmers.

In February, she joined with other Senators to send a letter to Secretary Vilsack asking him to take action to help stabilize prices and protect Minnesota’s farmers from the rapidly declining milk prices.  Then, at a White House Middle-Class Task Force meeting in St. Cloud in March, Klobuchar strongly urged the Agriculture Secretary to provide help to Minnesota dairy farmers as soon as possible.  Shortly after the meeting, Klobuchar announced that the Department of Agriculture would create a program to purchase dairy products from the market and provide them to food shelf programs in order to stabilize prices and boost demand, effectively leveling the playing field for U.S. dairy producers.

In May, after working with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Agriculture, Klobuchar announced that the Department of Agriculture would launch a program to help dairy exporters compete with world prices, which are kept artificially low through subsidies.

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