​DATCP, DFW Partially Lift State Dairy Assessment During COVID-19 Federal Disaster Declaration

Release Date: May 14, 2020

DATCP Media Contact: Grace Atherton, Communications Director, (608) 224-5020, Grace.Atherton@wisconsin.gov

DFW Media Contact: Patrick Geoghegan, DFW Industry Relations, (608) 203-7230, PGeoghegan@wisconsindairy.org

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MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW) announced today 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


About the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP): The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's (DATCP) mission is to partner with all the citizens of Wisconsin to grow the economy by promoting quality food, healthy plants and animals, sound use of land and water resources, and a fair marketplace. The agency is responsible for inspecting food businesses and lodging and recreational facilities, working with counties to assist farmers in protecting the state's environmental resources, protecting animal health, promoting Wisconsin products at home and abroad, and enforcing Wisconsin's consumer protection laws. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, DATCP is focused on two main goals: helping to keep food on Wisconsin shelves and supporting the essential industries it serves. To that end, the agency is in constant communication with stakeholders in the agriculture community, including the dairy industry. For more information, visit datcp.wi.gov. Find more DATCP news in our newsroom, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW): Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin exists to be a tireless advocate, marketer, and promoter for Wisconsin dairy farmers and to drive demand for Wisconsin's dairy products. The organization represents Wisconsin farm families and works to increase the sale and consumption of Wisconsin milk and dairy products, as well as build trust in dairy farmers and the industry. Organizational initiatives include generating national publicity, managing digital advertising, and driving sales, distribution and trial through retail and foodservice promotions. Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin also supports in-school education about the benefits of dairy and funding for the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For more information, visit wisconsindairy.org and follow us on Facebook.