DATCP, DFW partially lift state dairy assessment

With the shutdown of the foodservice and hospitality industry, milk processors lost a significant chunk of their market, leaving dairy farmers with no one to take their milk.

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW) announced that the state milk assessment will be lifted for disposed milk during the COVID-19 public health emergency, from May 14th, 2020 until the end of the federal major disaster declaration made by President Trump in April.

This state order is not retroactive, so it does not apply to milk that has already been disposed of.

“Wisconsin dairy farmers are facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19,” said DATCP Interim Secretary Randy Romanski. “We hope that temporarily lifting the state assessment on non-commercialized milk in this highly unusual situation will provide some relief to farmers or processors who may have to dispose of their product during this pandemic.”

“As the producer-elected marketing board responsible for promoting Wisconsin’s dairy industry, we know COVID-19 has made times even tougher for many of our farmers,” added DFW CEO Chad Vincent. “Wisconsin dairy is and will continue to be a cornerstone of our agricultural economy. We’re proud to partner with DATCP in finding opportunities like this to support our farmers.”

In Wisconsin, 10 cents per hundredweight of the total amount due to the farmer from the sale of their milk is collected by Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. The funding generated by the state assessment is used for advertising and promotion, market research and development, industrial research, educational programs, and administrative costs.

Dairy producers, processors, and handlers with questions should contact Patrick Geoghegan at DFW: (608) 203-7230, PGeoghegan@wisconsindairy.org