The United States Senate this week passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill with critical research funding to find beneficial uses for ice cream co-product. The Agriculture Appropriations bill was part of a four-bill appropriations package that passed by a vote of 92 to 6 on August 1, 2018.
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) led the effort to successfully include an ice cream research provision in the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee bill. Thanks to their work, ice cream processors, who are responsible for supporting over 23,000 American jobs, are one step closer to finding a solution to the problem of millions of pounds of ice cream co-product that must be disposed of every year due to a lack of technologies to recover its valuable components. This co-product consists of, among other things, fat, protein, carbohydrates and water. IDFA believes millions of dollars could be saved with the development of novel solutions.
Here is the Senate ice cream research language:
Postharvest Dairy Research—The Committee recognizes the importance of developing solutions to address agricultural postharvest inefficiencies to conserve limited resources and feed a growing population. The Committee provides an increase of $1,500,000 for research to develop postharvest technologies that decrease waste and improve resource use of protein, fat and sugar in dairy processing.
Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee included language directing the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to find solutions to the ice cream waste issue in its version of the Agriculture Appropriations bill that has passed committee. Now that the Senate has added its Agriculture Appropriations bill to a larger appropriations package that has already passed the House, appropriations leaders from both the House and Senate will begin reconciling differences between the two bills.
Finally, the Senate also voted 83 to 15 to fund a new farm bill program that IDFA supported that would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish at least three regional initiatives to provide technical assistance and grants to new and existing dairy businesses to help improve profitability and spur innovation. The amendment, which was sponsored by Sen. Baldwin and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), would provide $7 million in funding for the Dairy Business Innovation program which is included in the Senate version of the farm bill (S. 3042).
For more information, contact Tony Eberhard, IDFA vice president of legislative affairs, at email@example.com.