Midwest Dairy Coalition Urges USDA to Take Swift Action in Response to COVID-19 Impact 

Coalition Requests Extension of Sign-up Deadline to Beyond June 1

The Midwest Dairy Coalition has asked USDA to extend the sign-up period for MPP, citing a late spring that has likely dampened sign ups to date. Read the letter here.

The Midwest Dairy Coalition has joined other producer associations and dairy farmer-owned cooperatives in signing onto a letter of support for the restoration of schools' option to offer low-fat flavored milk with school males, and in other nutrition programs, as proposed by the Food and Nutrition Service in the Federal Register on November 25, 2020.

Coalition Requests Flexibility in Rules to Accommodate Intergenerational Transfers

The Midwest Dairy Coalition has written a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting more flexibility is with regard to production history rules related to dairy operations that have added cows in order to accommodate intergenerational transfers. Read the letter here.

News Archives

Opposition to discriminatory pricing policies


Historically, federal dairy policy has penalized regions like the Upper Midwest by establishing policies that discriminate against manufactured dairy products, such as cheese, that are the mainstay of our region's dairy industry.

The Coalition has built a long history of working to end such discrimination, and promote policies that provide benefits to producers without regard to the end use of milk..

Promoting National Approaches to Dairy Policy

The Coalition has been instrumental in the creation of national dairy policies that effectively provide a counter-cyclical safety net for dairy producers in all regions. The Coalition's approach to policy has been extremely helpful to rural economies of dairy-dependent Upper Midwestern states.

Giving a Voice to Producers

The Midwest Dairy Coalition called upon USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to undertake swift action in response to the growing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation's dairy farmers and throughout the dairy industry supply chain. Specifically, the Coalition asked USDA to:

1) Initiate a Strategic Dairy Product Purchase Plan for Donation to Food Banks and Other Food Donation Programs

2) Re-open the 2020 Sign Up for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) Program

3) Consider Additional Accommodations for FSA Direct and Guaranteed Loan Borrowers

Coalition Asks FDA to Reject Proposal Regarding Imitation Dairy

The Midwest Dairy Coalition forwarded a letter to the FDA, asking it to reject a proposal that would jeopardize dairy standards of identity. Read the letter here.

The Midwest Dairy Coalition earlier called upon USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to take action in response to the growing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation's dairy farmers and throughout the dairy industry supply chain.

On April 29, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue replied to the Coalition's request, indicating refusal to re-open the Dairy Margin Coverage program, while outlining steps the department was taking to use direct payments and commodity purchases it believed would provide some certainty to farmers and consumers.

Midwest Dairy Coalition Letter Requesting Extension of Dairy Margin Coverage Sign-Up Period 

Midwest Dairy Coalition Joins in Support of Food and Nutrition Service Proposal   

Coalition Comments on Labeling Plant-Based Foods Using Dairy Product Names

The Midwest Dairy Coalition has submitted comments to FDA Commissioner Gottlieb in regards to the use of dairy product names in labeling of plant-based foods, which can confuse consumers. Read the letter here.

Good Showing from Upper Midwest Congressional Delegation 

Coalition Urges Leadership Not to Make Additional Cuts to Agriculture 

The Midwest Dairy Coalition joined others in the industry in signing a joint letter to House and Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee leaders. Find details here.

Past Updates


The Midwest Dairy Coalition is an alliance of dairy cooperatives representing Upper Midwest dairy producers on federal dairy policy issues.

Latest Updates

Coalition Requests Extension of Sign-up Deadline to Beyond June 1

The Midwest Dairy Coalition has sent a letter to USDA Secretary Perdue (with related attachments) making the case for a better payment rate to dairy farmers for the second round of tariff remediation payments. Read the letter here.

USDA Replies to Coalition's Request for Action on COVID-19 Impacts

Coalition Asks USDA for  Additional Risk Management Options for Dairy

The Midwest Dairy Coalition sent a letter to USDA Secretary Perdue, calling for actions to provide additional risk management options for dairy farmers. Read the letter here.

The summer of 2020 has seen four significant Congressional letters to the Administration regarding key dairy trade issues, and our Upper Midwest Congressional delegation has been very helpful on all of these letters. On the national level, National Milk Producers Federation took the lead on these letters, and the Midwest Dairy Coalition played a leadership role in securing Upper Midwest House and Senate Members' signatures. 

The first letter urged the Administration to take action on dairy trade issues in negotiations with Japan. This House letter was spearheaded by Rep. Kind (D-WI). Click here for a link to the House Japan letter.

The second was a Senate letter related to the geographic indications (GI) issue and the need to preserve the right of U.S. dairy to use common cheese names. The Senate GI letter was led by Sens. Thune (R-SD), Stabenow (D-MI) and Baldwin (D-WI). At the request of the Midwest Dairy Coalition, the letter was signed by the entire UMW Senate delegation, meaning the senators from WI, MN, IA, ND, SD, MI, NE, and IL.  In total, 61 Senators signed the letter. Click here to view the Senate GI and Common Names letter.

The third letter, to USDA Secretary Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer, was led by Congressmen Kind (D-WI), Reed (R-NY) and Peterson (D-MN). This letter highlighted dairy enforcement issues with regard to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Here are a couple of examples of why we are concerned about USMCA enforcement:

  • Canada has already taken steps in the wrong direction by implementing dairy tariff-rate-quotas in a way that isn’t in keeping with its USMCA obligations; this needs to be fixed but also raises serious concerns that we will see similar game-playing efforts when Canada implements its Class-7 related provisions later this year.
  • Mexico made key pledges to the U.S. regarding our common name cheese exports but has yet to translate those promises into its regulations so that our exporters and their buyers in Mexico have the certainty they need to keep supply chains flowing.

The Kind-Reed-Peterson letter was signed by 105 House members, including a long list of key Upper Midwest House Members.  Click here to view the House USMCA dairy enforcement letter.

The fourth and most recent letter was a Senate version of the USMCA dairy enforcement letter, which was led by Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Mike Crapo (R-ID).  The letter was signed by 25 Senators, including Senators Baldwin and Johnson from WI, Smith and Klobuchar from MN, Stabenow and Peters from MI, Fischer from NE, Rounds from SD, and Ernst from IA. Click here to view the Senate USMCA Dairy enforcement letter.  

on Four Key Dairy Trade letters This Summer