Sen. Baldwin, other Wisconsin leaders ask USDA to help dairy farmers

With trade war looming, farmers brace for impact
Times have been difficult for Ron Gibson and dairy farmers across the country the past couple years. Dropping milk prices and a disappearing labor force have forced thousands of US dairy farms to close.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and other members of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation wrote a letter to the USDA on Friday calling on the department to take action to support Wisconsin Dairy Farmers.

According to a news release, Wisconsin dairy farmers have been struggling since the demand for dairy products has switched to at home consumption due to COVID-19.

“Coronavirus-related changes in consumer purchasing have caused rapid shifts in demand. While these changes in consumer demand are temporary, without immediate action, they could have a permanent effect in causing the closure of hundreds and possibly thousands of farms, rural businesses, and food processors,” the letter said. “Wisconsin needs your help.”

Sen. Baldwin and members of the delegation outlined three steps that include moving cheese and dairy products from Wisconsin to consumers, providing funding to resolve supply chain issues and reopening enrollment in the Dairy Margin Coverage program.

The letter was led by Senator Baldwin and signed by Sen. Ron Johnson and representatives Mike Gallagher, Glenn Grothman, Ron Kind, Gwen Moore, Mark Pocan and Bryan Steil.