Dairy farmers and industry professionals are monitoring public health and responding to market effects as coronavirus continues to shape every aspect of American life. This page offers NMPF-created and curated resources focused on dairy’s response to the pandemic. NMPF will continue working with lawmakers and regulators to ensure a safe and adequate supply of milk and to mitigate economic harm to dairy farmers during this challenging time.
Through the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program (PMVAP), USDA will provide more than $350 million in pandemic assistance payments to dairy farmers in early 2022. This initiative will partially reimburse producers for unanticipated losses created during the COVID-19 pandemic by a change to the Class I mover formula exacerbated by the government’s pandemic dairy purchases.
Payments will reimburse qualified dairy farmers for 80 percent of the revenue difference per month on up to 5 million pounds of milk marketed and on fluid milk sales from July through December 2020. The payment rate will vary by region based on the actual losses on pooled milk related to price volatility. As part of the program, handlers also will provide virtual or in-person education to dairy farmers on the program and other dairy topics.
Significant issues remain with how payments are distributed, making improvements necessary to the program, which arose from the efforts of NMPF and its member cooperatives but fell short of what the organization advocated. Caps on the production amount covered by the program will limit assistance in ways that create inequitable outcomes among dairy producers. Additional work lies ahead to remedy this shortfall more fully for all dairy farmers, and NMPF continues discussions about the current Class I mover to prevent a repeat of this problem.
For More Information
Vaccinating essential workers, including the dairy workforce, is important because of their role in maintaining critical infrastructure operations and their increased risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Vaccination is one of many important tools to help stop the pandemic.
Workforce Coronavirus Prevention and Management
The CDC provides clear guidance about preventing infection in both English and Spanish. It also provides a number of printable factsheets and posters in both languages suitable for workplace use. Below are resources dairy farmers are encouraged to review and use:
The CDC has developed Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to plan, prepare and respond to COVID-19. The guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to COVID-19 and provides planning considerations should widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19 occur.
All employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect workers from COVID-19 while ensuring continuity of operations. During a COVID-19 outbreak, all sick employees should stay home and away from the workplace, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene should be encouraged, and routine cleaning of commonly touched surfaces should be performed regularly.
The American Trucking Associations has developed a COVID-19 webpage with relevant alerts, facts, and answers to frequently asked questions for industry stakeholders to use as a resource during this pandemic. The page is updated regularly with new information and is a great source for issues regarding truck stop closings, state and federal declarations, Congressional actions and other developments that may be impacting truck drivers during this time. Additional hauling resources are listed below.