Dairy foods companies aren't the only ones opposed to supply management. Several producer groups have spoken out against the Dairy Market Stabilization program in H.R. 3062, the Dairy Security Act introduced by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), which was included in the draft 2012 Farm Bill released last Friday by Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
The Minnesota Milk Producers Association's board of directors recently voted to oppose the supply management provision. In a statement released on Tuesday, MMPA said, "Cutting back on production at a time when our Minnesota processing plants need more locally produced milk is a step in the wrong direction.
"MMPA has remained consistent in describing the principles of a strong safety net for dairy farmers, including risk management without supply management and market reform for all U.S. dairy producers with more transparent price discovery," the release concluded.
Earlier this month, the Dairy Business Association, an organization comprised of Wisconsin dairy producers, processors and allied corporate members, sent a letter to Stabenow voicing concern about the expected inclusion of the Dairy Security Act in the draft Farm Bill.
"The supply management provision within DSA would substantially harm dairy farms in Wisconsin and throughout the nation," the letter said. "As you lead the Senate Agriculture Committee through the drafting of the Farm Bill, we respectfully ask for the inclusion of an alternative dairy proposal that contains margin protection coverage but eliminates supply controls."
Just last week, Kansas farmer Clay McCarty submitted a statement for the House Agriculture Committee’s field hearing in Dodge City, voicing his opposition to the supply management proposal. McCarty supports government safety net programs, such as crop insurance, that would assist dairy farmers with risk management, but tying the assistance to a supply management program would be "a failed idea."
McCarty Family Farms is a fourth-generation family dairy located in northwest Kansas, with 6,000 head of cattle, three dairies, a heifer farm and a milk condensing operation.
"We know that there are many producers who oppose supply management, including California Dairies, the second largest coop in the country, and others” said Jerry Slominski, senior vice president of legislative and economic affairs. “We are especially glad that producer groups and individual producers are speaking out during this critical mark-up period.”
For more information, contact Slominski at firstname.lastname@example.org.