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$350 Million in Extra Dairy Spending Awaiting Approval

October 5, 2009


$350 Million in Extra Dairy Spending Awaiting Approval

House and Senate appropriations negotiators agreed last week to divide up a $350 million dairy aid package between direct payments and cheese purchases. The bill is awaiting final approval in the House and Senate, respectively.

NMPF had urged congressional leaders last month to allocate all of the $350 million to the acquisition by the USDA of consumer cheese products that could then be donated through food banks and other charities to help feed the hungry.

However, the appropriators agreed on a compromise that will allocate most of the money to direct payments. The USDA, once the money is approved, will determine the precise formula for how to pay out the $290 million, and NMPF will work with USDA to determine the most equitable payment formula.