After last week's release of Rep. Collin Peterson's (D-MN) draft dairy bill, headlines from around the country confirm that the dairy industry remains divided on dairy policy reform. Farmers, processors, special interest groups and others have weighed in on the discussion draft circulated by Peterson, voicing concerns about elements of the draft bill, notably the section that would limit milk production.
The key proposal of Peterson's bill is a new "growth management" program titled the Dairy Market Stabilization Program. The stabilization program would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to calculate a dairy margin per hundredweight of farm milk, defined as the difference between the farm milk price and a representative feed cost. When this dairy margin falls below $6.00, a government-mandated, supply-control program to limit milk production would be activated and dairy processors would be required to withhold a portion of their payments to dairy farmers
Instead of government interference with dairy markets, IDFA supports risk management programs for dairy farmers like the current USDA Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy program.
"IDFA continues to work with the House Committee on Agriculture, other members of Congress and their staff to find a workable solution that benefits all facets of the dairy industry without stunting industry growth, reducing dairy exports or costing U.S. jobs," said Jerry Slominski, IDFA vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy.
Members with questions may contact Slominski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A sample of the news coverage is listed below. To read more, visit www.keepdairystrong.com.
- "Minn. congressman offers plan to make dairy industry more profitable, less costly to taxpayers," Minneapolis Star Tribune, Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, 7/20/11
- "'Foundation' dairy proposal becomes focus of debate,"California Farm Bureau Federation, 7/20/11
- "Dairy legislation criticized, proponents push back," Western Farm Press, 7/19/11
- "Dairy reform bill would damage exports, warn processors," Food Navigator-USA.com, 7/18/11
- "Producers question reforms; NMPF officials defend proposal to rewrite federal milk programs," Capital Press, 7/14/11