CA: Western Dairy Trade Group Submits Comments to USDA Regarding Tariffs and Support for Dairy Farmers

Geoff Vanden Heuvel Milk Producers Council of California

Milk Producers Council, as part of the Western States Dairy Producers Association (WSDPA), sent a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue this week outlining our estimate of the impact of the trade dispute on milk prices. The letter also proposed a method for sending cash payments directly to producers from the $12 billion USDA has set aside to assist American farmers impacted by the trade war.


In the letter we point out that, “The Western States market a disproportionate percentage of our milk and dairy products to foreign buyers who are now engaged in this trade dispute with the United States. What this means is that Western dairy farmers are on the front lines in this trade war.”


The letter goes on to say, “Dairies in the West are significantly larger than the national average. But the erosion of milk prices as a result of the trade war impacts all dairy farmers on all of their milk production. Our members implore that any direct payments to dairy farmers be distributed on all milk produced, without production caps. Any other outcome would disproportionally saddle our member dairies with the consequences of market losses.”

MPC General Manager Kevin Abernathy also submitted an introductory letter with the WSDPA letter to the leadership of President Trump’s Agricultural and Rural Advisory Committee. Kevin holds a seat on this committee, to which he was appointed earlier this year, actively advocating for California dairy families. This group of agricultural leaders from across the country advises the President on issues and policies important to the long-term health of farm families and rural America.

Kevin personally submitted these letters to his chairman, Charles Herbster, and fellow committee member, Dr. Sam Clovis, so we have a high degree of confidence that these issues will be discussed directly with the President. You can read the Western States letter and the introductory letter MPC sent to the President’s Agricultural & Rural Advisory Committee leadership here.

Web links to letters..