Yet another senator has publicly expressed opposition to dairy supply management and this time it comes from a former Secretary of Agriculture under the Administration of President George W. Bush. In a radio interview earlier this week, Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said, “I am not a fan of supply management. I never have been. I do think it has all kinds of potential to distort the marketplace.”
The Senator later explained that he’d like to “move [dairy co-ops and producers] off of this and move them really in a direction where they belong, where I think there’s a great future and that’s trade.”
In stating his opposition to government control of our milk supply, Senator Johanns joins Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who expressed his opposition to dairy supply management during committee consideration of the Senate farm bill, Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), who recently voiced his support for the House dairy title that excludes supply management and Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), who has expressed concerns over the Senate dairy title.
Although all four are members of the Senate Agriculture, only Bennet and Chambliss were selected to serve on the Farm Bill conference committee.
In his radio interview, Senator Johanns acknowledged that he had supported the Senate farm bill because it made progress in other areas, not related to dairy. The House of Representatives voted to eliminate the supply management program by an overwhelming margin of 291-135, including all three of Nebraska’s House delegation.
You can listen to the November 21, 2013 interview here.
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