The U.S. dairy industry supports more than 3.2 million American jobs that generate $49 billion in direct wages. Unfortunately, hiring and retaining a workforce to fill those jobs and run dairy farms and processing plants year-round is an ongoing challenge.
Congress is expected to take up legislation this fall to reauthorize federal child nutrition programs, including the school meals programs and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (“WIC”), which provides nutritious foods to supplement the diets of low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, as well as infants and children up to age 5.
Congress recently passed COVID-19-relief legislation that includes significant resources to help USDA provide nutritious food to families in need through the remainder of the pandemic. This has resulted in the creation of new food distribution programs, as well as changes to existing ones.
As the federal government's fiscal year draws to a close, Congress is still trying to pass legislation to fund federal agencies after Sept. 30, including those that administer programs that are vital to the dairy industry.