MORA, Minn. -- U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar met with about 75 dairy farmers in Mora last week to discuss the drop in milk prices.
Klobuchar said she will take the dairy producers' concerns to U.S. ag secretary Tom Vilsack and will urge him to immediately enact measures to address the worsening dairy market and help struggling family farmers throughout Minnesota and the nation.
"The effects of an unstable marketplace are hitting close to home for dairy farmers in Minnesota,'' Klobuchar said. "The farmers I met with today are struggling -- they're doing everything they're supposed to be doing, working hard and playing by the rules, but their way of life has been uprooted by factors beyond their control.''
As a result of the economic crisis, the dairy industry is struggling with falling prices of dairy products, unusually high costs and a drop-off in international demand. The price of cheese has dropped 40 percent in a little more than a month.
"Farmers are especially vulnerable during these tough economic times,'' she said. "Across Minnesota, dairy farmers are struggling as a result of this economic crisis. We need to provide immediate and targeted support to stabilize prices and help dairy farmers who are hurting.
Earlier this month, Klobuchar sent a letter to Vilsack calling on USDA to help stabilize prices.
In the letter, she urged USDA to more effectively implement the Dairy Product Price Support Program to restore stability and clear oversupplies in the market; direct adequate resources toward timely and efficient inspection of dairy commodities purchased through the DPPSP; consider additional dairy purchases for distribution through USDA commodity-based nutrition programs; and to examine ways to more formally utilize the Dairy Export Incentive Program.
February 24, 2009