New Hampshire Dairy Farmer Debora Erb Selected to Advise Secretary Vilsack on Milk Pricing
(Washington, D.C.)-U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today applauded the appointment of Debora Erb, a dairy farmer from Landaff, to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) new Dairy Industry Advisory Committee, which is tasked with advising Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the milk marketing order system and its impact on dairy farmers across New Hampshire and the nation. Shaheen nominated Erb for this post in November.
"The federal milk marketing order system has left our dairy farmers in dire economic straits," said Shaheen. "I am confident that Deb Erb will work diligently to reduce price volatility for dairy farmers, serve as a strong advocate for small dairy farms in New Hampshire and across New England, and help ensure that family farms remain a part of our state and national economy."
Erb has lengthy experience with dairy pricing issues, including service as New Hampshire's farmer representative on the Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact Commission and the National Dairy Promotion Board. Along with her family, she owns and operates Springvale Farms and Landaff Creamery in Landaff.
New Hampshire dairy farmers have faced difficult economic times that have threatened to close many of the state's small- and medium-d farms. In December, Shaheen announced the implementation of USDA's Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Program (DELAP) that will provide significant relief to New Hampshire dairy farmers. The program, which provides loss assistance payments to dairy farmers whose livelihoods have been jeopardized by low milk prices and high production costs, was made possible by an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2010 Agriculture Appropriations bill supported by Shaheen. In 2009, Shaheen and Vilsack met with dairy farmers in New Hampshire and learned first-hand the challenges they face as a result of low milk prices. Shaheen urged Secretary Vilsack to take swift action to increase support for dairy farmers through the Dairy Product Price Support Program (DPPSP). Vilsack made the requested changes to the DPPSP in July, which have aided farmers in recent months.