August 23, 2016

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WASHINGTON (August 23, 2016) – In response to today’s U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announcement that it will purchase $20 million worth of dairy products under the authority of Section 32 of the Agriculture Adjustment Act of 1935, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson released the following statement:

“NFU appreciates USDA’s continued commitment to dairy producers, especially within a very tight budget. The current environment, however, has left dairy farmers struggling with severe economic strain, and it requires a more robust response.

“Current projections indicate that farm revenue from milk sales this year will drop to $31.5 billion – a $20 billion plunge from 2014 revenue highs. Even with modest price rebounds, dairy producers are draining capital reserves, or worse, going out of business. Market challenges, including a glut of domestic and international milk, will require time to shrink inventories due to a tepid global demand. In the meantime, producers need meaningful assistance.

“NFU hopes USDA will continue to assist dairy producers as funding allows. We also recognize that USDA alone cannot solve the current problem. Congress must quickly provide the department with much needed resources so that they may better assist our nation’s producers. NFU looks forward to working with both Congress and the USDA to assist producers who are on the brink of making career ending decisions about the future of their operations.”

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.