WOOSTER, OH - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Farm & Foreign Agriculture Service Michael Scuse today held a roundtable with dairy farmers in Wooster. Brown has been fighting to assist Ohio dairy farmers who have faced high prices and low market values for their products.
"Dairy farmers in Ohio not only provide Americans with high-quality and nutritious products, but also play a key role in our state's economy - especially in Ohio's small and rural communities," Brown said. "Last summer was difficult for many dairy farmers, who faced high costs and low milk prices. That's why I brought Deputy Under Secretary Scuse to Wooster today to receive critical input from the people who know this industry best. We must all work together to ensure that the dairy industry remains an integral part of Ohio for years to come."
Brown was joined today by dairy producers and representatives from Ohio farm organizations to discuss challenges facing the Ohio dairy industry. Brown and Scuse were also joined by Dr. Bobby Moser, dean of OSU's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
Following the roundtable, Brown and Scuse toured the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). OARDC is a research center focused on food, agriculture, and the environment. It supports research targeted at growing safe, healthy, and affordable food and agricultural products; creating sustainable food and agricultural systems; building strong rural and urban communities; maintaining stewardship of natural resources and the environment; and keeping Ohio positioned favorably in a global economy.
Brown, who is chairman of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Food, Nutrition, and Family Farms, has been an outspoken advocate in Congress for Ohio's dairy industry. Last October, he introduced the Dairy COOL Act, which would extend mandatory country of origin labeling to dairy products. In December, he announced a new $290 million federal program, the Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment (DELAP) program, to provide loss-assistance payments to eligible dairy producers that faced high costs and low market values for their products in 2009. Brown, who spent summers working on his family farm, is the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in more than 40 years.