Leahy Asks U.S. Ag Sec Vilsack About Delivering Urgently Needed Relief To Vermont’s Dairy Farmers
(6/15/21) Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, asked U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about delivering urgently needed relief to Vermont’s dairy farmers. Leahy asked Vilsack at a hearing by the Appropriations Committee’s Agriculture Subcommittee, on the President’s budget requests. Dairy producers in Vermont and throughout the Northeast continue to face market volatility as a result of pandemic-related supply chain disruptions. Milk prices throughout the region are expected to remain low, while the costs of feed, labor, farm equipment, energy, and other farm expenses have all increased. Across multiple coronavirus relief bills, Congress has provided USDA with significant funding authority for farmer relief and supply chain resilience. In March, Secretary Vilsack announced plans to use $6 billion of that authority to deliver aid to farmers and food businesses that were underserved in previous rounds of assistance, including dairy producers and processors.