More than 200 New York dairy farmers traveled to Capitol Hill last Wednesday to attend the third and final hearing held by the U.S. House Agriculture Subcommittee on Dairy, Livestock and Poultry. Although no consensus on specific policy recommendations emerged during the hearings, Subcommittee Chairman David Scott (D-GA) recommended both short- and longer-term reviews of existing dairy policies and their impact on the current industry economy.
"We appreciate the leadership that Chairman Scott, Ranking Member Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) and Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) demonstrated throughout these hearings," said Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president for policy and legislative affairs.
The committee received input from representatives of all segments of the dairy industry, including IDFA Chairman Paul Kruse of Blue Bell Creameries. Read testimonies submitted during the hearing here.
Also last week, fifty members of the House of Representatives responded to calls for assistance from dairy producers by reinstating the Bipartisan Congressional Dairy Farmer Caucus. This group will provide another venue for Congress to receive input on dairy policies.
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) last week introduced legislation to put tariff rate quotas on import caseins and milk protein concentrates. Similar legislation has been introduced in previous Congressional sessions without action.
Tom Suber, chairman of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, testified during last week's hearing that "it is a misconception that a surge in dairy imports has created or exacerbated the situation facing the dairy producer community." At the first dairy hearing, IDFA's Kruse cited domestic production of milk protein concentrates as an opportunity for growth for the U.S. dairy industry.
For more information, contact Saunders at firstname.lastname@example.org.