For Immediate Release:
Vermont to Reimburse Dairy Farmers for Milk Margin Protection Premium
Dairy Producers Receive Funds Towards MMP Premiums
November 5, 2018 / Montpelier , VT - The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) is pleased to announce reimbursement payments will be sent this week to Vermont Dairy Farmers under the milk Margin Protection Program (MPP). Governor Scott, the Legislature and the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets secured funding in the fiscal year 2019 State budget to help dairy farmers pay premiums related to the MPP. These critical payments come during a difficult time for Vermont’s dairy farmers.
The state appropriation totals $450,000. Payments made to farmers will vary but will not exceed $833 toward their premium expense. According to USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), 568 dairy farms enrolled as of June 22. Secretary of Agriculture, Food & Markets Anson Tebbetts said, “We hope these checks will help farmers at one of the most challenging times in the dairy industry. With the help of the legislature and Governor Scott we were able to help secure these important dollars to help Vermont’s farmers. We will continue to seek a long term pricing solution with our state and federal partners.”
The Margin Protection Program provides dairy farmers the ability to insure the margin between the price of milk and the cost of a common feed ration and is managed through the USDA FSA. MPP protects the participating farmer against reductions in the margin below insured levels. For each month the calculated margin drops below the insured amount, USDA FSA provides payments to individual farmers on the difference.
According to FSA State Director Wendy Wilton federal payments to Vermont farmers for the months of February through August are nearly $7 million. “The majority of small to mid-size farms have enrolled and are receiving over $6.9 million in program payments from USDA. When combined with the state of Vermont’s premium support that total exceeds $7 million to support dairy at this difficult time,” Wilton said.
“Dairy farmers spend the majority of their income in our local communities supporting other working Vermonters who work in hardware stores, feed mills, as veterinarians, auto and equipment dealerships and other agriculture related industries”, stated Secretary Tebbetts. “These dollars will benefit farmers and their local communities. We ask dairy farmers to keep their eyes on the mail box this week,” he added.
For more information on the reimbursement program, please contact the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets at (802) 828-2430 or email at AGR.Helpdesk@vermont.gov .