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Former Ag Secretary Calls for Free Markets, Not Supply Controls

Dec 05, 2011

In his weekly radio commentary, Former Agriculture Secretary John Block called for more debate about the kind of support farmers need in the next farm bill. “To the extent we can afford it, agriculture needs a safety net, but we need to let the markets work,” Block said. He criticized the proposed Dairy Market Stabilization Program, saying supply controls would take the dairy industry backward and hurt exports.

IDFA opposes the stabilization program, which is part the National Milk Producers Federation’s package of dairy policy proposals, because it allows government to impose milk-production limits. The stabilization program was included in the Dairy Security Act of 2011 introduced by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) in the fall and briefly considered by the House and Senate agriculture committee leadership for submission to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

Block served as Agriculture Secretary from 1981-85 under former President Ronald Reagan. He now serves as senior policy advisor in the law firm of Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC.

Listen to his commentary on John Block Reports from Washington, which airs on more than 500 radio stations in 30 states, or read it here.

For more information about IDFA's dairy policy position, read "IDFA Dairy Policy Recommendations: Providing a Path to Growth and Opportunity," or contact Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy, at jslominski@idfa.org.

 
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