Wisconsin's U.S. Senators Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl announced today that the USDA has agreed to their request to fully utilize the Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP) that will help level the playing field for U.S. dairy exports. Feingold and Kohl asked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to utilize the DEIP program in January of this year. Secretary Vilsack announced today that the USDA will fully utilize this year's dairy allocations under DEIP in an effort to keep U.S. dairy products competitive with other dairy exports around the world. This announcement comes on the heels of the reintroduction of direct export subsidies by the European Union earlier this year.
"In January, I asked the USDA with Senator Kohl and many of my colleagues to take a series of measures to assist U.S. dairy farmers. The department has already implemented one of our suggestions by shifting surplus dairy products to school lunch and nutrition programs. I applaud Secretary Vilsack and the administration for implementing another of these suggestions to support struggling dairy farmers who are so important to Wisconsin," Feingold said. "The announcement today will help level the playing field so our dairy products can remain competitive across the globe. The global economic crisis has been fully felt in American's Dairyland through low dairy prices. I will continue to work with my colleagues and the administration to ensure we are providing the support the dairy industry needs."
"I spoke with Secretary Vilsack this morning and I applaud the work he is doing to protect dairy farmers and improve the dairy markets in the United States," Kohl said. "As Chair of the Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee, I understand that this is a difficult time for dairy farmers and the Dairy Exports Incentive Program will clear the markets of surplus and allow farmers to compete domestically and internationally."
On January 30, 2009 Feingold and Kohl led a letter to the administration along with 33 other Senate colleagues urging the administration to help America's dairy farmers as the global economic crisis and falling dairy prices threatened the industry. According to the announcement made by the USDA today, the Dairy Export Incentive Program allocations of 68,201 metric tons of nonfat dry milk, 21,097 metric tons of butterfat, 3,030 metric tons of various cheeses and 34 metric tons of other dairy products, as well as individual product and country allocations will be made available through Invitations for Offers.
More information about this program, including the announcement of Invitations for Offers, is available at http://www.fas.usda.gov/excredits/deip/deip-new.asp or by calling FAS's Credit Programs Division, Office of Trade Programs, at (202) 720-3224 or (202) 720-6211.