Below is the letter Secretary Vilsack will receive along with all of your signatures showing we will not forget our dairy farmers during this crisis.
Dear Secretary Vilsack Ė
As you know, the dairy industry is in crisis and thousands of our nation's dairy producers are at risk of losing their livelihoods. I'm asking you to take immediate action to set a fair price for dairy farmers that reflects increased production costs. If this doesn't happen soon, we may immediately lose up to 20,000 of our dairy farmers and billions of dollars from our rural economies, which are already hurting. We simply cannot afford to lose one farmer, never mind the 20,000 who are at risk right now of losing their farms forever.
There are many complicated reasons for the dairy crisis, including foreign imports and price manipulation by dairy processors -- both of which require investigation. But for the immediate survival of our dairy farmers, the price of milk paid to farmers must be altered to reflect their cost of production. On average, our farmers are currently being paid less than half of what it costs them to produce milk.
Under Section 608c (18) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, the Secretary of Agriculture is required to adjust farm milk price to "reflect the price of feeds, the available supplies of feeds, and other economic conditions which affect market supply and demand for milk and its products." If ever there was a time for the Secretary of Agriculture to use this power, it is now.
You have the power, and the responsibility, to change the fate of countless hardworking men and women for the better and they need you to do the right thing.
Thank you for your time and I'll look forward to seeing your response to this issue soon.
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