Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Stefanik and Congressman Anthony Brindisi (D-NY-22) have led a bipartisan letter to USDA requesting immediate assistance for upstate New York dairy farmers, many of whom have lost direct markets due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The letter, signed by members of the New York Congressional delegation, requests swift action by USDA, including direct payments and reimbursements for dumped milk, in order to provide relief to dairy farmers. It also requests that USDA purchase dairy products to be distributed to local food banks and provided to communities in need, and also allow grocery stores and other venues to donate milk locally.
“Our dairy farmers are facing an unprecedented crisis that comes after years of low milk prices” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “I have had conversations with many producers in my district and understand their urgent need for relief. I am proud to be co-leading this effort, along with Congressman Brindisi, to urge USDA to immediately provide financial relief to our farmers and make purchases to give our communities better access to dairy products. The dairy industry is very important to upstate New York and it is crucial that we continue to support them, an essential industry, who is working tirelessly to keep our grocery stores stocked during this unprecedented time.”
“As Members of New York’s Congressional Delegation, we represent a robust community of dairy farmers who have lost direct markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Congressman Brindisi. “Farmers across the country have suffered tremendous loss, and New York is no exception. We are writing to request that swift action be taken, including direct financial assistance, by the administration and USDA in order to provide relief to our dairy farmers and other parts of the dairy supply chain.”
“At a time when food security is of utmost importance, we must do everything we can to keep farmers in business during this most challenging time. New York Farm Bureau appreciates the efforts from Rep. Stefanik and our congressional delegation for highlighting the needs of our dairy farmers and working to secure federal assistance for our farm families,” said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President.
“Dairy farmers and their cooperatives are facing unprecedented economic strain marked by significant demand displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO, National Milk Producers Federation. “We have urged USDA to use the authority provided by Congress under the CARES Act, as well as other existing authorities, to provide immediate, robust support to dairy producers. We commend Reps. Brindisi and Stefanik for their bipartisan collaboration and strong advocacy for Upstate New York dairy producers during this challenging time.”