Last Wednesday, National Public Radio's 'The Diane Rehm Show' dedicated an hour to discussing the impact that milk prices volatility is having on dairy farmers and the dairy industry.
Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president for policy and legislative affairs, represented IDFA members in the discussion. "Dairy manufacturers are in partnership with producers, and we depend on a solid, stable milk supply," Saunders told host Diane Rehm.
While acknowledging that many dairy farmers need the short-term assistance provided by existing U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, Saunders stressed the need to revamp outdated dairy policy. "We can't neglect the longer-term policies that are needed to address price volatility, or we'll be in the same situation three or four years from now," Saunders said.
Reinforcing the message delivered to Congress by IDFA Chairman Paul Kruse earlier in the week, Saunders also said that the U.S. dairy industry is uniquely positioned to capture growth in global markets over the next decade. "We should be producing innovative dairy products that are increasing demand both in our food sector and globally."
Other guests on the show included: Chris Galen, senior vice president, communications, National Milk Producers Federation; Katherine Ozer, executive director, National Family Farm Coalition; Rep. Peter Welch, Democratic congressman, Vermont; Paul Rozwadoski, dairy farmer from Stanley, Wisconsin and chairman of the Dairy Subcommittee, National Family Farm Coalition; and James W. (Jim) Miller, USDA undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services.
To listen to the show, visit wamu.org/programs/dr/09/07/15.php#26912.