Sheepscot Valley Young Farmer and Cows

Urge USDA Support For Organic Dairy Farms

Sheepscot Valley Young Farmer and Cows

Does this photo warm your heart? If so, it’s probably because dairy farms are the beating pulse of Maine’s agricultural landscape. While this adorable young farmer appears to have everything under control, the picture for Maine dairies is not so sweet, and organic dairy farms are struggling especially hard.

Maine state and federal agencies are providing support to help some dairies hang on, but much more is needed, and a critical pool of emergency funding that Congress specifically designated for the organic dairy sector is being held up at a time when it’s needed most.

Two years ago, Congress allocated $104 million of Commodity Credit Corporation funding as emergency relief for organic dairy farms and charged the US Department of Agriculture with the job of distributing the funds. USDA quickly created the Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program (ODMAP) and began sending out relief grants. USDA got off to a great start, but the distributions stalled out and, thus far, less than a quarter of the funding has gone out to organic dairy farmers across the country.

Please urge US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to release emergency funds for organic dairy farms now.

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