The Organic Dairy Assistance, Investment, and Reporting Yields, or O DAIRY Act of 2023, seeks to help organic dairy farmers overcome economic headwinds. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, introduced the bill this week.
“It recognizes the fact that our dairy farms, and particularly our organic dairy farms, face some pretty strong headwinds these days, and I’m fighting to make sure that those organic dairy farms have the tools and support they need to continue to be the backbone of our rural communities.”
Baldwin says organic dairy farmer face a myriad of economic challenges.
“The headwinds are things like a volatile market, rising production costs, unstable feed supplies, and frankly, weather events that we’re dealing with. And so, it’s I think time we step up and invest in solutions for our organic dairy industry.”
The bill extends emergency assistance to organic dairy farmers facing losses, including any time a farm’s net income decreases by over ten percent in any given year.
“This relates to essential dairy infrastructure investments, funding that can go towards establishing new processing plants on the processing side, or to enhance on-farm infrastructure. But, there are some challenges that organic faces that aren’t necessarily faced by conventional, in terms of particularly the cost of feed supplies, etc.”
The bill would invest $25 million annually in dairy infrastructure investments, research and innovation, increase industry organic data collection, and direct USDA to study the viability of an organic safety net program.