Walker: 30×20 Program didn’t cause recent milk supply problems
Wisconsin’s Governor says the state’s Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30-by-20 producer grants are not why some farmers have had to find new milk processors.
Scott Walker says the program has been adjusted more than once because they saw production going up more than what was expected, but the program didn’t lead to excessive dairy production. “The 30-by-20 program wasn’t targeted towards any side effect. Some of the biggest beneficiaries were small farmers, so it’s not set for any particular criteria. It was several years ago when we had, the cheesemakers in this state were importing about 10% of all of the milk used to make cheese, which we thought was ridiculous if we’re the Dairy State.”
The Governor says last month’s milk surplus comes from changes in Canadian trade policy. Walker says Canada’s subsidized Class 6 and Class 7 ingredients strategy is a NAFTA violation which led to farmers being let go from Grassland Dairy Products.
Canadian cheese and yogurt makers stopped importing Wisconsin and New York ultra-filtered milk after implementing their new milk price for dairy ingredients.
The 30-by-20 flexible grant program was created to help dairy farmers improve profitability by supplying up to $5,000 dollars for projects with producers making a 20% matching contribution.
Walker also commended processors, Ag Secretary Ben Brancel, and the Farm Center for working to find new milk buyers for the affected farms.