Recognizing the continued financial burden its members are experiencing, Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.’s (DFA) Board of Directors has issued the balance of 2008 patronage payments several weeks ahead of schedule.

More than 12,000 members who marketed their milk through DFA in 2008 will receive cash payments equal to 2 cents per hundredweight, for a total of $7.6 million. Combined with the payment issued in April, DFA members received a total of $19 million (a combined 5 cents per hundredweight) in patronage payments for 2008. An additional $9.5 million was distributed to members in July, which was paid from 2009 earnings.

“Our members continue to experience unprecedented stress as a result of the current economic climate,” says Tom Croner, DFA board treasurer and chair of the board’s finance and budget committee. “By issuing patronage checks early and in cash, we hope to send a clear message to these hardworking dairy men and women that we are deeply committed to identifying options that deliver short-term relief, while we explore long-term solutions that will prevent a crisis of this proportion from occurring again.”

The amount of patronage a member receives each year is based on the amount of milk marketed through the cooperative. The payments are being issued 100 percent in cash, regardless of members’ base capital level.

Source: Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.