IDFA has learned that the Dairy Security Act of 2011, proposed by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), is included in the package of policy recommendations that the House and Senate agriculture leaders are considering for submission to the supercommittee. This bill, which ties revenue insurance for farmers to a milk supply-control program, will become law unless the supercommittee specifically eliminates it or fails to complete its task on time.
"We still need your help to let the members of the agriculture committees and those on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction know that you oppose the Dairy Security Act and any form of government-mandated supply control," said Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs. "They need to hear directly from you that this bill would severely limit industry growth, job creation and export opportunities."
Last week, top executives from six IDFA member companies sent a letter to the supercommittee to express their concern and opposition to the Dairy Market Stabilization Program, a part of the bill that would make supply control mandatory for any producer who participates in the revenue insurance program.
“We strongly believe that the Dairy Market Stabilization Program will have a negative impact on dairy exports, cannot be fixed by turning it off after exports start declining and should not be part of a bill whose purpose is to reduce federal spending,” the letter said. It was signed by executives at Davisco Foods International, Inc.; Glanbia Foods; Hilmar Cheese Company; Saputo Cheese USA Inc.; Sargento Foods Inc.; and Schreiber Foods, Inc.
The 12-member supercommittee has until November 23 to send a $1.2 billion deficit reduction package to Congress. Once the supercommittee's proposal has been introduced, it cannot be amended and will have to be voted on as a complete package. The vote is expected to come sometime before Christmas.
IDFA urges members to contact their members of Congress asking them to keep dairy issues out of any supercommittee proposal. Contact Ashley Burch, IDFA assistant director of political programs, at email@example.com for assistance and more information.