Contact: Peggy Armstrong
(Washington, D.C. – October 12, 2011) "Now we are getting somewhere. The Dairy Advancement Act offered by Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) moves the dairy industry toward consensus on a path forward. Most importantly, the bill will not hamstring our industry with a new government program to limit milk supply as does the controversial Peterson proposal. It sets no limits on the ability of dairy farmers to grow their businesses and offers a safety net without strings attached.
"Although this bill moves us in the right direction, the unwillingness of the National Milk Producers Federation to compromise and insistence on proposals that will constrain the industry by limiting milk supply is disappointing. NMPF continues to refuse to seek consensus by insisting on the Peterson proposal that forces dairy producers to accept supply controls if they want to participate in margin insurance.
"We applaud Senator Casey’s inclusion of critically needed risk management tools, particularly his call for an expansion of the Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy program. Instead of having its funding cut even further as was done for FY 2012, LGM-Dairy is the type of program that our government should encourage.
"We would like to work with Senator Casey and his staff on other elements of the legislation that do not, in our opinion, go as far as needed to reduce, reform and simplify the burdensome regulations that stymie dairy industry growth. As the Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, Senator Casey understands how desperate we are in this country for jobs and a growing economy. Our members, the nation’s milk and dairy manufacturers, account for more than 200,000 jobs across the country and could increase that number with the lifting of government regulation and government intervention in dairy markets.
"Senator Casey has taken the real first step in the right direction for our nation’s dairy industry.”
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), 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% of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.