ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation and International Dairy Foods Association praise Congress for its decision today to include in a conference report a dairy-specific amendment that would benefit producers, processors and consumers.
The organizations now urge Congress to pass the report so that it can reach President Obama’s desk by the Dec. 4 deadline.
The bipartisan amendment, sponsored by Reps. Richard Hanna of New York and Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut and championed by House Transportation Committee Conferee Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin, gives states the option to issue permits allowing milk haulers to increase their truck weights beyond Interstate Highway System limits. This would allow milk trucks in some states to carry more product without being forced to offload portions of it at other state borders.
“If passed, fewer vehicles would be needed to transport milk, cutting transportation costs and easing the burden on farmers, consumers and commuters,” said IDFA President and CEO Connie Tipton.
“This amendment recognizes the specific challenges in transporting milk,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “It’s great to see bipartisan support for something so critical to our dairy producers.”
The bipartisan agreement comes as part of a massive push by Congress to deal with several pieces of legislation before they adjourn for the year.
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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 more than 550 companies within a $125-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 nearly 200 dairy processing members run nearly 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national 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.
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), based in Arlington, Va., develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of U.S. dairy producers and the cooperatives they collectively own. The members of NMPF's cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S, milk supply, making NMPF the voice of nearly 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more on NMPF's activities, visit www.nmpf.org.