Advocacy Update: COVID-19 Pandemic

General News,

During these challenging times, the Ohio Dairy Producers Association is working hard to represent the best interests of Ohio’s dairy farm families.

In addition to advocating aroud legislation, manure and water quality, and cow care, here's what ODPA has been working on during the pandemic:

Seeking Solutions to Milk Pricing Issues

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed several on-farm milk pricing concerns, and in response, ODPA is:

  • Reviewing dairy policy and circumstances that resulted in low on-farm milk prices
  • Collaborating with milk cooperatives, independent dairy farmer groups and others for reasonable solutions to milk price discovery and potential modifications to the Federal Milk Marketing Order
  • Providing opportunities for dairy farmers to better understand the current milk pricing system and options that may provide favorable milk prices
  • ODPA will work with Ohio’s Congressional Delegation to advance agreed-upon milk pricing improvements thru USDA.

ODPA, with support from DFA Mideast Area, National Farmers Organization, Ohio Dairy Foods Association and others, took the lead in urging Governor DeWine to approve emergency funding requested by the Ohio Association of Foodbanks to help those in need.

Securing Funding for Foodbanks

Nearly $5 million in funding was approved for Ohio’s 12 Feeding America foodbanks and their 3,600 local charities to buy milk and dairy products, as well as other food and essential items. Of this funding, $1 million was earmarked for the Agricultural Clearance Program, where the Ohio Association of Foodbanks purchased Ohio-made commodities, such as milk, to distribute to foodbanks.

Addressing Milk Purchasing Limits

In response to grocery stores limiting milk purchases, ODPA assisted the American Dairy Association Mideast in assuring retailers there is a steady supply of milk to meet their needs. ODPA also supported this effort by engaging with Governor DeWine and the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

To date, all major grocers have been contacted and their corporate offices indicated the limits are being lifted.

Sharing Resources to Navigate the Pandemic

ODPA continues to share resources that may be helpful to farmers during the pandemic. Click here to view the resources.