Blunt, Hawley, Senators Urge USDA to Provide Assistance to Dairy Farmers Impacted by Coronavirus

April 16, 2020

WASHINGTON ­– This week, Missouri Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley joined 13 of their Senate colleagues in urging U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to extend assistance to the dairy industry, which has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As large swaths of the U.S. economy have shuttered in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, so too have long-existing markets for U.S. dairy producers. This standstill has left dairy farmers with excess product that was originally intended for the food service industry and no channel to get their milk, butter, cheese, and yogurt into the hands of consumers.

The senators wrote to Secretary Perdue to request he use the agriculture assistance provisions in the CARES Act to provide stability for the dairy industry and prevent a collapse in farm milk prices.

“In this case assistance for the dairy industry adds up to both help for farmers and nutritious food for the entire country,” the senators wrote. “Support for Americans suddenly in need of food assistance is a national priority at this time of need. Economic stability for the dairy industry will help ensure that a stable and abundant food supply is available to the public at reasonable prices now and long into the future.”

In addition to Blunt and Hawley, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators Jim Risch (Idaho), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Todd Young (Ind.), Martha McSally (Ariz.), Mike Rounds (S.D.), Mike Braun (Ind.), Mitt Romney (Utah), John Cornyn (Texas), Joni Ernst (Iowa), John Thune (N.D.), and Steve Daines (Mont.).