Sens. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.
New bill will improve risk management for dairy pricing and add plan to boost milk consumption
(Washington, D.C. – June 28, 2018) The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed its version of the farm bill this evening by a bipartisan vote of 86 to 11. The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) welcomes the provisions that will allow greater access to risk management tools for dairy processors and producers to address price fluctuations and that will extend the Dairy Forward Pricing Program to 2023. The bill also will improve the safety net for dairy farmers and add a new milk incentive program within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to improve participants’ diets by increasing fluid milk consumption.
“Managing price risk and increasing consumption are the dairy industry’s key priorities, and we’re pleased that the Senate and House will enter conference considerations with agreement on these key provisions,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “We commend the leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., for their leadership on these issues and their efforts to keep the bill moving forward.”
IDFA also welcomed the inclusion of a new Milk Donation Program, as well as enhancements to the Margin Protection Program (MPP), a voluntary safety net program for dairy farmers. The Milk Donation Program will allow dairy processors and producers to team with charitable organizations to donate milk to people in need and to reduce food waste.
During floor consideration of the bill, Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow agreed to add several amendments, and two in particular will be helpful to the dairy industry. An amendment offered by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., 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. Another amendment, offered by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would provide more catastrophic coverage and assistance to dairy farmers, when needed.
“U.S. dairy products companies support nearly 3 million jobs, generate more than $39 billion in direct wages and have an overall economic impact of more than $628 billion. Our powerful engine for American jobs and economic stimulus will only continue to contribute and grow under this farm bill,” Dykes said.
# # #
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports nearly 3 million jobs, generates more than $39 billion in direct wages and has an overall economic impact of more than $628 billion. IDFA is the umbrella organization for the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA’s members range from large multinational organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. The diverse membership includes numerous food retailers, suppliers and companies that offer infant formula and a wide variety of milk-derived ingredients.