Nearly 30 Farm Groups Endorse Dairy Policy Changes
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) joined 28 other dairy and farm organizations in signing a letter sent yesterday to the Senate Agriculture Committee, urging inclusion of the Dairy Security Act in the upcoming new Farm Bill. The Senate Ag panel is expected to begin drafting a Farm Bill next week.
The letter asserts that dairy farmers have "suffered financially because of extreme margin volatility dramatic swings in the difference between milk prices and feed costs. The two programs that make up our federal dairy safety net the Dairy Product Price Support Program and Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program focus directly on milk prices. What U.S. dairy families need is a policy package focused on the margins between milk prices and feed costs."
The letter endorses passage of the Dairy Security Act because it will help farm families insure against catastrophically-low margins, such as those experienced by dairy families in 2009. It also "helps to moderate the severity of the volatility in milk prices by maintaining better market balance, which benefits consumers as well as farmers, all while relying on less government spending than our current programs a key for any legislation in this era of necessary budgetary restraint."
One of the best features of the Dairy Security Act is that it "provides flexibility and options for each individual dairy. Not only can the provisions in the legislation be customized to each dairy, there is also the option for any dairy to completely exempt itself from the programs. The authors of the DSA recognized that a one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn't work in our modern industry and have cooperated fully with our organizations in making further improvements to broaden the support for the dairy reform package."
The letter closes by reminding the senators that there exists "A level of unity and support for the Dairy Security Act that is unprecedented for our industry. We stand united behind the Dairy Security Act as a rare opportunity for the dairy industry to collectively support reasonable, sound changes to our federal policies."
The following groups signed onto the letter: Agri-Mark, Alabama Dairy Producers, Associated Milk Producers Inc., Dairy Farmers of America, Dairy Farmers Working Together, Dairy Producers of New Mexico, Dairy Producers of Utah, Dairylea Cooperative Inc., Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Holstein Association USA, Inc., Idaho Dairyman's Association, Iowa State Dairy Association, Land O'Lakes, Maryland Dairy Industry Association, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Midwest Dairy Coalition, Milk Producers Council, Missouri Dairy Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Farmers Organization, National Milk Producers Federation, Northwest Dairy Association/Darigold, Oregon Dairy Farmers Association, South Carolina Dairy Association, South Dakota Dairy Producers, St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, United Dairymen of Arizona, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc., and Washington State Dairy Federation.