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Dairy Co-ops, Processors Differ Sharply on Averting Dairy Fiscal Cliff

January 2, 2013
By: Jim Dickrell, Dairy Today Editor
 
 

The National Milk Producers Federation, representing most but not all dairy U.S. dairy co-ops were sharply critical of the Senate’s extension of the 2008 farm bill for another year. The International Dairy Foods Association, the lobbying arm of many U.S. dairy processors, was supportive.

In a statement released New Year's morning regarding the Senate’s vote, Jerry Kozak, NMPF President and CEO, said:

"These stop-gap efforts don’t even qualify as kicking the can down the road. It’s little more than a New Year’s Day, hair-of-the-dog stab at temporarily putting off decisions that should have been made in 2012 about how to move farm policy forward, not offer more of the same….

"Despite the progress made in 2012 on the farm bill, we’re starting 2013 on a bad note. We oppose any farm bill extension of any duration that does not contain the Dairy Security Act and resolve to work this year on achieving that as a long-term goal."

Connie Tipton, IDFA President and CEO, released the following statement this morning:

"The International Dairy Foods Association congratulates Congress and President Obama for reaching an agreement on how to address the important 'fiscal cliff' legislation. We appreciate that the bill includes provisions that will avoid the resurrection of dairy policies from more than 50 years ago. This agreement allows Congress time to fully and openly consider future reforms to our nation's dairy policies."

"Dairy manufacturers are an important segment of our nation's economy, and we are committed to working with Congress this year as formulation of the 2013 Farm Bill begins. The interdependence of this industry from farmer to consumer is critical, and our nation's dairy policies deserve to be updated and supported. We commend the bipartisan effort of Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and David Scott (D-GA) in proposing a margin insurance program – a safety net – for dairy farmers that does not impose new government rules and conditions on milk production. This approach has broad support from consumer and taxpayer groups, from farm organizations and from across the food manufacturing and retail industry."

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