Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding has joined the state agriculture leaders of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont in a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack seeking reinstatement of the federal support price for cheddar block and barrel cheese and non-fat dry milk to levels established in August 2009.

"Pennsylvania's dairy sector accounts for more than 40 percent of our agriculture industry, and extended low prices only serve to compound an already struggling economy," Redding says. "Many of our dairy producers have gone months without a paycheck, and that negatively impacts our state as a whole. 

"Restoring the support prices will provide an immediate boost to the economic stability of Pennsylvania's nearly 7,300 dairy farm families, and help them begin to rebuild the decades of equity lost during the past 15 months," he adds. 

The state officials recognized previous efforts by USDA to help the dairy industry nationwide by making a significant cheese purchase for food banks, distributing payments to dairy producers through the Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment program, lessening the effects of low dairy prices through the Dairy Export Incentive Program and more.

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Source: PR Newswire