House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson today made the following statement after USDA announced plans to purchase surplus cheese for donation to food banks and extend the deadline for farmers to enroll in the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP). The announcement follows letters from Peterson urging the Department extend the enrollment date and use their purchasing authority to address instability in the dairy industry."Today's announcement is welcome news. The combination of declining milk prices and record high cheese stocks has left many dairy farmers struggling. Through this cheese purchase, both farmers and those utilizing USDA nutrition programs, will get some relief. Additionally, dairy farmers will have more time to enroll in MPP and protect themselves against potential future volatility.
"MPP is an improvement over the past dairy safety net but as we look ahead to the next farm bill, I will be working closely with my colleagues and dairy farmers across the country to improve upon the program."