Dairy Farmers of America Board Commends Vilsack’s Support of Industry

July 10, 2009

Kansas City, Mo. - Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.’s (DFA) Board of Directors and management applaud Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for his continued support of the dairy industry, including his recent announcement that the Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP) will be re-implemented for 2009-2010.

“Secretary Vilsack has sent a strong message to the dairy industry that he understands the unprecedented challenges our members are experiencing,” said Tom Camerlo, chairman of DFA’s Board of Directors. “Through his actions, including the reactivation of DEIP, Secretary Vilsack is proving his commitment to finding solutions that will help reverse the current dairy crisis.”

As a farmer-owned milk marketing cooperative with nearly 18,000 members, DFA takes an active role in shaping agriculture policy, and has strongly endorsed both the activation and continuation of DEIP.

The program, which complies with World Trade Organization regulations, is a cost-effective way to help bolster dairy prices through the export of limited quantities of cheese, nonfat dry milk and butter. DEIP allows U.S. dairy farmers to compete in international markets where opportunities are limited by subsidized dairy products from other countries.

Under the 2008-2009 DEIP allocations, bids for nearly 50 million pounds of nonfat dry milk, butterfat and cheeses were accepted.

“The initial activation of DEIP allowed DFA to participate in a national effort to boost the dairy industry, and we were encouraged by the early accomplishments,” Camerlo said. “With the re-activation of the program, we are looking forward to identifying new sales opportunities that will increase demand and result in improved milk prices at the farm.”