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New USDA Initiative, Investment To Bolster U.S. Dairy Global Competitiveness

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) commends the Biden administration and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack for taking key steps on Wednesday to help U.S. dairy suppliers meet rising global demand for dairy while charting a long-term, climate-smart course that advances the robust environmental commitments U.S. dairy producers and processors have made.

“USDA’s announcement on market disruption support speaks directly to the severe port congestion and export shipping delays that have been challenging U.S. dairy exporters for the past year,” said Krysta Harden, USDEC president and CEO. “And its decision to finance the deployment of climate-smart farming practices to aid the marketing of sustainable products, including dairy, will help deliver even greater U.S. leadership in sustainably feeding the planet in the years ahead.

“We expect both measures will help improve U.S. competitiveness by facilitating trade and helping our industry fulfill the ever-increasing demand for sustainably produced milk and dairy products,” she added.

USDA jointly announced the two developments on Wednesday. As part of a $3-billion investment package targeting urgent challenges facing agriculture today, it earmarked $500 million to provide relief to farmers and food producers from agricultural market disruptions. Those disruptions include transportation challenges and other near-term obstacles related to the marketing and distribution of certain commodities including dairy products.

The separate climate-smart agriculture and forestry partnership initiative complements the U.S. dairy industry’s world-leading sustainability commitments. Guided by science, USDA will support a set of pilot projects that provide incentives to implement climate-smart conservation practices on working lands and to quantify and monitor carbon and greenhouse gas benefits associated with those practices.

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