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DPDP-The Other Farm Bill Dairy Program

University of Minnesota Extension, Stearns County News
October 29, 2014        
Source:  Emily Wilmes, Extension Educator-Livestock
University of Minnesota Extension
Stearns, Benton & Morrison Counties


DPDP-The Other Farm Bill Dairy Program
By Emily Wilmes, University of Minnesota Extension

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (10/29/14) — Lately, we’ve been spending a lot of time about the new programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill.  I especially have been spending a lot of time on the Margin Protection Program.  Did you know there is another new dairy program?  The Dairy Product Donation Program was established to help margins recover when they drop below the catastrophic level of $4 per hundredweight.   It requires USDA to purchase consumer-ready dairy products for distribution through low-income feeding programs.

So, how does it work?  If margins fall below $4 per hundredweight for any two consecutive months, the USDA will publish a list of consumer-ready dairy products to be purchased at market prices for one month. Purchased items will be donated to food banks and other low-income feeding programs. USDA will purchase dairy products for three months, unless margins rebound above $4 sooner. Each instance of low margins will trigger a specific set of products to be purchased.

The great thing about this program is that is serves two purposes: the products purchased will include both those that will help increase farmers’ margins and those needed by food banks.  You may not know this, but milk is one of the most requested items at food banks around the country.  This has not gone unnoticed by Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.  In April, they introduced a new campaign to help get milk to the people who need it most: The Great American Milk Drive.  Americans are able to donate much-needed milk to their local food banks by either a simple click of their computer mouse or by sending a quick text message. 

Since the start of the program, over 107,000 gallons of milk have been donated nationwide, nearly 6,300 in Minnesota alone!  For more information and to donate, visit



Emily Wilmes
Extension Educator, Ag Production Systems - Livestock
(320) 255-6169
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