Following Pingree Push, USDA Announces Aid for Organic Dairy Farmers
In December 2022, Pingree led a group of 25 Members of Congress in a push to get emergency relief for U.S. organic dairy and poultry farmers amid skyrocketing feed costs that are impacting the future viability of the industry
Washington, May 23, 2023
Tags: Food and Agriculture
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today welcomed news from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that urgently needed assistance for dairy producers is available with the new Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program (ODMAP). The creation of ODMAP follows a push by Pingree, who wrote to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in December 2022 urging the USDA to help U.S. organic dairy and poultry farmers amid skyrocketing feed costs that are impacting the future viability of the industry. Specifically, under the ODMAP, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is making $104 million available to organic dairy operations to assist with projected marketing costs in 2023, calculated using their marketing costs in 2022.
“Organic farmers in Maine and across the country have endured drought, international trade challenges, and skyrocketing organic feed costs. At the same time, the wholesale purchase price for organic dairy has remained relatively stagnant. These unsustainable circumstances threaten farm closures, reduced competition, and ultimately, limited consumer choice,” said Pingree. “I am encouraged Secretary Vilsack heeded my call for action to get our organic farmers aid needed through the new Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program. While this program will be vital in helping prevent further losses, more must be done ensure the longevity of a healthy organic market that supports countless family farms.”
ODMAP is established to help mitigate market volatility, higher input and transportation costs, and unstable feed supply and prices that have created unique hardships in the organic dairy industry. FSA will begin accepting applications for ODMAP on May 24, 2023. Eligible producers include certified organic dairy operations that produce milk from cows, goats and sheep. To apply, producers should contact FSA at their local USDA Service Center. To complete the ODMAP application, producers must certify to pounds of 2022 milk production, show documentation of their organic certification, and submit a completed application form.
Pingree is a longtime organic farmer and member of the House Agriculture Committee and House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee.