The U.S. Department of Agriculture is buying 11 to 13 million gallons of milk from dairy farmers for $50 million and planning to send it to local food banks. It’s the first time the USDA program that buys surplus products has purchased liquid milk. Read the full USDA announcement here.
According to ABC News, the acquisition is not related to the emergency assistance for farmers linked to President Donald Trump’s tariff proposals, although dairy farmers have been hurt by trade issues related to NAFTA and declining demand for milk from cows. The USDA is buying the milk under a program that allows the government to buy surplus food or agricultural products and redirect them to food banks or school-nutrition programs.
Hundreds of dairy farms have closed, citing economic pressure and government regulations, over the last 15 to 20 years. The Los Angeles Times reported that Califonia Republican Congressman David Valado lost his family farm this year and that 36 percent of dairy farms in the state closed between 2001 and 2017.
The National Milk Producers Federation welcomed the announcement, saying it will help spur better market prices for the industry. – Read More