The House Agriculture Committee continues a series of hearings on key farm policy issues ahead of its Farm Bill mark-up. The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry held a hearing two weeks ago at which Jon Davis, president and CEO of Davisco Foods International, testified on behalf of IDFA. Regardless of opposition by IDFA and many producer organizations, the House version of the Farm Bill is likely to include the Dairy Security Act, similar to the version passed last month by the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Saying the debate is far from over, the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association issued a release last Friday citing statements from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) opposing the supply management component of the Dairy Security Act.
DBA also pointed out that a group of dairy producers, processors and other industry representatives participated in a roundtable discussion on the Senate Farm Bill with House Ag Committee member Reid Ribble (R-WI) in Appleton, Wis., where the entire group reiterated its support for a free-market system.
"The Dairy Security Act, and the supply management provision contained within it, would result in the unprecedented effect of introducing a new U.S. government program designed to limit milk production," the DBA said. "This concept is completely contrary to America's free-market system and is a direct government intrusion into dairy farmer's businesses and pocket books. Although deemed voluntary, it must be made clear that it certainly is not. Under the current DSA legislation, farmers who want to participate in the risk management portion of the program will be forced to participate in the supply management program."
IDFA and its members continue to support a compromise producer safety net in the new Farm Bill that is not tied to a supply management program.
For more information, contact Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative and economic affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.