The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has presented significant challenges to individuals, families and businesses worldwide. Our thoughts are with you and yours to stay safe and healthy as you continue to adjust your lifestyle.
The dairy community is also adjusting. While demand for milk and dairy products at retail has increased, the shutdown of schools and sudden disruption of the foodservice supply chain have caused ripple effects.
In some instances, if there is nowhere for the raw, unpasteurized milk to go, it must be disposed. This is a last resort when all other options are exhausted. If a farmer does have to dispose of the milk, it is responsibly discarded to ensure it does not enter rivers, streams or waterways. The last thing a dairy farmer wants to do is dump milk, and it takes a serious financial and emotional toll. Dairy Carrie and TDF Honest Farming have provided helpful explanations.
Oregon dairy farmers and processors are working tirelessly to provide healthy and nutritious foods, and they have been delivering food for retail sales, youth feeding programs and community food banks.
Dairy farmers in Oregon and nationally are supporting youth meal programs. These programs are open to all children ages 1 to 18 to ensure they are getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy. Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon maintains a list of these programs and you can donate to the national campaign called “For Schools’ Sake – Help Us Feed Our Nation’s Kids!” Oregon dairy processors are also working with the Oregon Food Bank to deliver donations to the people and places where they are needed.
Oregon’s dairy farm families and dairy processors thank you for your support during these challenging times. Your purchase of milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream and other dairy products makes a difference, and it is greatly appreciated. We’ll get through this together.