‘Dairy farmers play a major role in WA state’s economy’: Farmers to get $100 million in funding

Dairy farmers across Washington state and the country will get $100 million in funding for pandemic assistance, Washington Senator Patty Murray announced Monday.

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program.

The program was created in December 2020 and has reimbursed qualified dairy farmers for 80% of their losses of milk sales from July to December 2020, up to 5 million pounds, according to Sen. Murray.

The $100 million will help mid-size dairy farmers get reimbursements for up to 9 million pounds from that same time period. That will help Washington state producers cover losses in fluid milk sales for hundreds of millions of pounds of milk.

“Dairy farmers were hit exceptionally hard in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why I fought hard to deliver relief through this program and most recently secured language directing USDA to look into improving eligibility,” Sen. Murray said. “Dairy farmers play a major role in Washington state’s economy, and I am really glad this final round of aid is getting out the door and helping more farmers than ever. Between this assistance and the new program to better support smaller organic operations, we are helping dairy farmers across Washington state and the country get back on their feet.”

The USDA announced the Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program on Jan. 23 to assist smaller, organic, dairy farmers. The program was made to cover high costs due to the pandemic and droughts across the country. It will assist organic dairy producers with up to 75% of their 2023 costs, according to the USDA.