With members of Congress returning to Washington next week after a long recess and preparing for a possible Farm Bill conference, now is a critical time for them to hear from processors about the continuing effort to pass the 2013 Farm Bill.
The House of Representatives and the Senate have passed Farm Bills, with significant differences in several areas, including dairy, and these differences will need to be negotiated or “conferenced” into one final bill. The Senate-passed bill contains the divisive Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP), which would impose limits on the milk supply and artificially increase the price of milk. The House version of the Farm Bill includes the Goodlatte-Scott amendment, which passed by an overwhelming vote of 291-135 on the House floor, offering a resounding rejection of supply management.
“Although the exact process still remains unclear, we expect that Congress will begin resolving the differences between the House and Senate Farm Bills soon”, said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president for legislative affairs and economic policy. "It is critical that IDFA members reach out to their senators, in particular, and encourage them to accept the House version of the dairy language, which includes margin insurance for producers without a new government supply management program.”
The Senate has announced its list of Farm Bill “conferees,” which includes Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS), as well as Senators Pat Leahy (D-VT), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Max Baucus (D-MT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), John Boozman (R-AR) and John Hoeven (R-ND).
For more information, members may visit www.dairycounts.org or contact Ashley Burch, IDFA assistant director of political programs, at (202) 220-3534 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance reaching out to their members of Congress.