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OPINION We the dairy farmers of the United States are in a crisis. As each week passes an increasing number of hard-working dairy families are going out of business. Many of us feel helpless and we struggle to support our families; some have even required food stamps to put food on their tables. We very much appreciate your recent assistance but we need milk prices to rise. We want to become profitable, but due to the uncertainty created by lingering retaliatory tariffs we only see a slight – if any – rebound anytime soon.

Our milk price has dropped nearly 40 percent during the past four years. Cheese exports from the United States to Mexico are down more than 10 percent annually and shipments to China have fallen almost 65 percent annually. If this isn’t bad enough, the industry faces onerous and costly dairy regulations as well as a shortage of workers – making it hard to find a way each day to stay in business.

Despite assistance to offset the negative impacts of milk prices due to the implementation of tariffs with Mexico, Canada and China, more action is needed. Currently 1.4 billion pounds of American, Cheddar and other types of cheese are sitting in cold-storage facilities throughout the United States. With the price of milk at a record low, it is necessary that this surplus be liquidated to jumpstart the industry. It is estimated that 40 million Americans struggle with hunger and food insecurity. Stored dairy in the form of cheese provides an excellent source of nutrition for families who do not know where their next meal will come from.

The U.S. dairy-products industry supports nearly 3 million workers, and each year generates more than $39 billion in direct wages and has an overall economic impact of more than $628 billion. The diets and the jobs of countless Americans depend on the success of the dairy industry to provide an important nutritional staple at an affordable price. Please help us by helping food insecure families across the nation.

Sincerely,

The Working Dairy Farmers of the United States

The American Dairy Coalition is encouraging everyone to spread the word by reaching out to their legislators asking them to work with President (Donald) Trump and stop the hemorrhaging of the U.S. dairy industry.