Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was pleased to deliver a little holiday cheer to our nation’s dairy producers when he announced the implementation of the new Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment (DELAP) program. The 2010 Agricultural Appropriations Bill authorized $290 million for loss assistance payments to eligible dairy producers.
"Through this program, eligible dairy producers will receive economic assistance that will help stabilize their operations during these tough economic times," said Vilsack. "I have personally heard from hundreds of struggling dairy farmers from all across our country who have been hit hard by declining prices over the past year, and now, we'll be able to offer them help."
With the recent announcement came praise from across the nation:
"During these tough economic times, this increase will bring some much needed relief for our farmers," said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
“This is an essential stop-gap measure that will help many dairy farmers stay in business in the short-term,” said Collin Peterson (MN), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, said
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Minnesota’s farmers are at the heart of our agriculture industry and this program will help dairy farmers get through this rough patch.”
"I am very pleased with Secretary Vilsack’s announcement that the emergency funding for dairy farmers will go out to struggling dairy producers soon, providing them with much-needed relief," Rep. Herseth Sandlin (SD) said.
Senator Patrick Leahy (VT) said, “Secretary Tom Vilsack has listened to our struggling dairy farmers, and I know the Farm Service Agency has been working tirelessly to quickly get these funds into farmers’ hands.
“This emergency support for Vermont's dairy farmers could not have come at a better time. While prices have come up a bit recently, our farmers are still in the middle of a deep crisis,” Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) said.
Senator Herb Kohl (WI) said “We welcome the news that our dairy farmers will be receiving assistance soon. Our producers have not had many reasons to celebrate this year as they scrambled to keep their businesses alive. My hope is that these payments will bring a measure of relief to the hardships we witnessed in rural communities across our state and the country.”
“The Administration said they would try to get the money out by the end of the year and they have kept their word” said Rep. David Obey (WI)
“This announcement is welcome news for Wisconsin farmers. After a very challenging year, this new program will ensure that small and medium sized dairy farms in Wisconsin receive the assistance they need to survive the winter as they hope for improving prices in the new year,” Senator Russ Feingold said.