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In Testimony to House Agriculture Committee, Dairy Leader Opposes Milk Supply Limits in Farm Bill

Apr 26, 2012

Contact:
Peggy Armstrong, (202) 220-3508, parmstrong@idfa.org
Marti Pupillo, (202) 220-3535, mpupillo@idfa.org

Says Talk of Supply Management Already Hurting Dairy Industry Growth

(Washington, D.C. – April 26, 2012) Appearing on behalf of the International Dairy Foods Association, Jon Davis, president and CEO of Davisco Foods International, testified today before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry about dairy provisions in the draft 2012 Farm Bill. Davis explained why his company and others are opposed to including a new program designed to control milk prices in the Farm Bill. Davis, who appeared at a press briefing with other dairy industry leaders and visited Senate offices on Tuesday, told subcommittee members that his family’s business has put expansion plans on hold until the supply management issue is resolved.

“Davisco has recently invested more than $100 million dollars in our factories largely because of our growing export business," said Davis. “Many other dairy companies have also invested in new processing facilities to take advantage of those markets. While supply management legislation is being debated, most if not all of the next wave of dairy processing investment is on hold. We simply can’t afford to commit capital when we don’t know if we will have the milk supply to operate those potential new investments.”

The new milk supply management program, called Dairy Market Stabilization, was included in the Senate Agriculture Committee’s 2012 Farm Bill, which was reported out of committee today by a vote of 16-5. IDFA continues to believe that this program, first introduced in the House by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) as H.R. 3062, the Dairy Security Act, will raise consumer prices, hurt exports, cost thousands of new jobs and stifle investments in new facilities.

“Jon Davis did an excellent job describing how the committee should provide dairy farmers with risk management tools,” said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president for legislative and economic affairs. “Although it was clear from the comments from members of the subcommittee that the proposed milk supply management plan is very controversial, it is also obvious that the middle ground, with broad support across the entire industry, is a margin protection plan that will provide a safety net for dairy farmers."

Today’s hearing was the one of several that the House Agriculture Committee is holding in Washington, D.C., in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill.

Davis’s testimony is available here.

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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), headquartered in Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $110-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.