Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Statement on Vilsack Announcement of Dairy Purchases WASHINGTON, D.C.-House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson applauded U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's announcement today that USDA plans to purchase about 200 million pounds of nonfat dry milk for domestic feeding programs, offering relief to dairy farmers and low income families challenged by tough economic times. In January, a bipartisan group of 36 Members of Congress sent a letter encouraging Secretary Vilsack to use USDA authority to make dairy purchases for feeding programs. The Members expressed concern for dairy farmers who are faced with milk prices 25 percent lower than last year and feed prices 15 percent higher. They also highlighted the fact that a record number of Americans, more than 31 million people, qualified for benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at the end of 2008. "This is a win-win situation that will offer relief to our nation's dairy farmers who are suffering from high input costs and declining milk prices and to low income American families who are finding it harder to put healthy food on the table during these difficult economic times," Chairman Peterson said.