A Wisconsin-based group representing hundreds of Midwestern dairy farmers applauded the U.S. Senate for passing its version of the farm bill today and maintaining momentum in the push for full reauthorization by a Sept. 30 deadline.
The Senate’s bill will need to be reconciled with the House’s version, which was approved last week. This process happens through a conference committee.
“We appreciate the U.S. Senate passing a bipartisan farm bill. Now, as we move into the next phase, we look forward to working with Chairman Roberts, Ranking Member Stabenow and their counterparts in the House to finish the job,” said Brody Stapel, president of the board of directors for Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, who farms with his family in eastern Wisconsin.
Both the House and Senate versions of the bill include provisions designed to help dairy farmers and they reflect Edge’s priorities, Stapel said. For example, the Senate’s bill strengthens the dairy safety net, funds critical market development programs and includes new incentives for dairy products through the SNAP (food stamp) program.
“Not every bill is perfect and there is still room for improvement,” Stapel said. “So, we hope the conference committee’s work is productive and positive.”
Edge’s lobbying team has actively worked to ensure that the dairy community’s interests are adequately addressed in the final farm bill, Stapel said. Edge’s members have been directly engaged, as well. As recently as this week, members were on Capitol Hill contacting lawmakers to communicate the dairy community’s top priorities.
“We are proud to bring the voice of milk to Washington and we are encouraged by our progress,” Stapel said. “In the end, we want the best possible outcome for our dairy farmers.”
Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative provides dairy farmers in nine Midwestern states with a strong voice — the voice of milk — in Congress, with customers and within their communities. Under the Federal Milk Marketing Orders, the co-op also provides milk testing verification services and market information. Edge, based in Green Bay, Wis., is one of the top cooperatives in the country based on the amount of milk produced by its members. Edge was formerly known as the Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative. For more information, visit voiceofmilk.com.