Contact: Andrew Jerome, (202) 314-3106

WASHINGTON (Aug. 28, 2014) – National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson commended USDA on their timely rollout of the dairy Margin Protection Program and for including provisions that will help America’s family farmers with their risk management needs.

“America’s family-run dairy farms are in great need for these kind of risk management tools to help them manage risk that is beyond their control,” said Johnson.

The Margin Protection Program, which replaces the Milk Income Loss Contract program, gives participating dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best for their operation. The program is voluntary.

“The family farmer provision, included as part of the program, will allow many of this nation’s family-operated dairy farms to breathe a sigh of relief now that they have adequate risk management tools in hand. It is unfortunate that the Congress did not include a dairy stabilization program that would have helped take the volatility out of milk prices.”

USDA also announced the Dairy Product Donation Program (DPDP), which will donate dairy products to low-income people, including food banks, state and local agencies and advocacy organizations to determine the types and quantities of foods to purchase for distribution through its nutrition assistance programs. Johnson called the DPDP smart public policy. “This is a wonderful example of smart public policy since it allows USDA to help stabilize the milk market while also helping those facing food insecurity,” he said.

“USDA has done a wonderful job rolling out its new and updated programs as mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill and they should be commended for that,” he said.

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.

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