The Secretary of Agriculture for Pennsylvania and a former secretary recently added their voices to the growing chorus of calls to the Farm Bill conference committee asking members to reject the milk supply management proposal.
George Greig, secretary, and Dennis Wolff, former secretary, sent a letter to Representative Glenn Thompson (R-PA), a Farm Bill conference committee member, urging him to oppose the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP) included in the Senate version of the bill. They asked Thompson to support the House-passed version, which establishes a safety net for dairy farmers without the supply management provision.
“Programs that would periodically limit milk supplies would have disastrous effects on the U.S. dairy industry,” said Wolff, a dairy farmer, and Grieg, a former dairy farmer. “It is unfair and unprecedented to force any farmer, regardless of the commodity involved, to participate in supply management as a condition of enrolling in a government sponsored risk management program.”
The letter also highlighted the negative effect that supply management would have on U.S. dairy exports, which now represent 15 percent of U.S. milk production. “The DMSP would be detrimental to our reputation as a dependable supplier to the global markets and force dairy farmers to cut back on production when growth is needed.”
According to media reports yesterday, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) said “this is deadline week” for a Farm Bill deal, but he added, “We’re not there yet.” The House is scheduled to recess this Thursday and return December 2-13. The Senate will return after the Thanksgiving recess on December 9 and work through December 20.
For more information, contact Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy, at email@example.com.