Missouri dairymen are working for passage of a bill infusing an additional $350 million for dairy in the 2010 USDA Appropriations Bill. Missouri Dairy Association Chairman Larry Purdom says the money could possibly be used by USDA to buy dairy products for distribution to food banks or overseas.
“Our feeling is that if [USDA] would buy some cheese and product that’s in storage…hanging over our heads, depressing prices,” Purdom tells Brownfield from his farm at Purdy, Missouri, “we feel like the prices would start moving on their own if we didn’t have this surplus.”
Purdom, along with Missouri Dairy Association Executive Director Dave Drennan, were recently in Washington, D.C., lobbying for passage of the bill, which is currently being considered by a conference committee. But Purdom also thinks Missouri’s dairy industry should get some help from state coffers.
“My issue with the state government is that we should prop up our own dairymen and have them making tax dollars for our small towns and schools,” Purdom says. “We should use economic development money or whatever; we need to keep it going.”
Missouri Dairy Association Executive Director Dave Drennan says losses suffered by Missouri dairymen are having a staggering effect on the state’s economy.