News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) –U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) co-sponsored the Dairy Price Stabilization Act to protect Washington state dairy farmers and strengthen the dairy industry by stabilizing the price of milk. The Dairy Price Stabilization Act would prevent market volatility and better align supply and demand by incentivizing farmers to cut back on production when there is too much milk on the market.  It would allow farmers a set amount of continued growth, as well as options for managing growth over the allowable growth rate, while reducing wild price swings.

“Washington state is the tenth largest dairy state in the country and our farmers, their families, and local communities depend on the continued success of this critical industry,” said Senator Patty Murray. “This legislation creates a structure to stabilize dairy prices and is a strong step toward helping local farmers prosper and avoid the wild price swings that could cost them their farms.”

“We appreciate Senator Murray’s leadership on this issue,” said Jay Gordon, Executive Director of the Washington State Dairy Federation. “The price volatility we’ve experienced in the past few years has had unprecedented effects on our farmers and our consumers.”

“We have to work together to make the dairy industry viable,” said Larry Stap of Twin Brook Creamery in Lynden, Washington. “As a dairy producer in growth mode, it’s important that we are looking at the bigger picture, including supply management, for the health of the entire dairy industry.”

The dairy industry is susceptible to price booms and busts, and in 2009 the industry experienced one the worst crises in recent history.  With prices dropping well below the cost of production, overproduction soared and prices continued to decline.  The dairy industry lost over $12 billion in 2009 alone, resulting in layoffs and the closing of operations across Washington state.

The Dairy Price Stabilization Act, S. 3531, was introduced on June 28th and has been referred to the Senate Agriculture Committee.