Change is a scary thing, and there will be no shortage of that in Washington, D.C., when it comes to agriculture leaders in the next Congress and administration. During the December 2 Hoard’s Dairyman DairyLivestream, panelists detailed some of the changes they see on the horizon.
Specifically, they outlined dairy and agriculture policies they think are safe and those that may be on shaky ground.
“There are no perfectly paved roads on any of this stuff, but I would be optimistic about labor and trade, while I would tend to be more pessimistic about environment and nutrition,” shared Cornell’s Andy Novakovic.
“Legacy programs are safe. Those are things like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), federal orders, and crop insurance; I don’t see those going away,” continued the longtime dairy policy guru.
Special guests Dave Carlin from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and Paul Bleiberg from the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) shared a few additional policies to be confident in and to keep an eye on.
“I would say the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program that was enacted in the last farm bill is safe. It at least is authorized for seven more years and probably isn’t going anywhere,” said Blieberg, who serves as NMPF’s senior vice president of government relations.
Conversely, he has his eye on the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) as legislation that will be on shaky ground in the next Congress and administration.
“There will be some additional COVID-19 relief in the new year, but it may look very different, especially the food box program. I wouldn’t expect to see that one back,” he concluded.
Consumer value dairy programs, too
“I think the SNAP program, which obviously affects our dairy industry in a big way is safe and will expand,” detailed Carlin, who serves as IDFA’s vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy. As for a policy he’s keeping his eye on . . . that’s 1% flavored milk availability in schools.
That’s an advance that was made during the previous administration. Carlin explained during the webcast that depending on who is selected as the Secretary of Agriculture, that positive development could be in jeopardy. It will be an area that his organization monitors closely.
An ongoing series of events
DairyLivestream will air twice each month for the remainder of this year. The next broadcast will be next week on Wednesday, December 9. Each episode is designed for panelists to answer over 30 minutes of audience questions. If you haven’t joined a DairyLivestream broadcast yet, register here. Registering once registers you for all future events.