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Dairy State Leaders Call for Open Debate of Controversial Dairy Policies

Nov 22, 2011

Senators representing two of the nation’s largest dairy states asked last week that the Dairy Security Act be excluded from the deficit reduction bill in a letter to supercommittee leaders. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Ron Johnson (R-WI), pictured, expressed their concern that the Dairy Security Act represents a new and controversial policy direction that should be openly debated.

“This problematic legislation has been recommended to the deficit reduction committee without consent from committee members or fellow Senators from states of which it will impact,” Gillibrand and Johnson said in the letter. “The program is a significant shift in current policy and as such, should be openly debated instead of being negotiated behind closed doors.”

In a separate letter to the supercommittee leadership, Wisconsin Rep. Thomas Petri (R) echoed Gillbrand and Johnson, calling the program “highly controversial and not representing “consensus agreement amongst our nation’s dairy industry.”

Wisconsin has the second highest milk production and more dairy farmers than any other state.  New York has the fourth highest milk production and the third highest in numbers of dairy farmers.  

Read the letter from Gillibrand and Johnson here. Read the letter from Petri here.

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