Creating Food Demand
Nov 02, 2009
By Sara Brown
When prices are down, producers say we need more consumer demand. But with a down economy as well, how do we enable consumers to buy more meat and dairy products?
Missouri is one of the states taking one step to increase the state’s meat consumption. Sixteen Missouri ag groups have joined together to ask the Missouri Congressional Delegation to support the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA)’s “Meat the Need” proposal.
This proposal will provide new options for dairy, poultry, pork and beef producers while also providing needed nutritional assistance to people facing hunger due to job loss and other economic hardships. Ag groups hope this will alleviate excess meat and dairy products, at the same time improving the nutritious options for low-income families.
NASDA represents ag departments from all 50 states and 4 territories. The proposal passed unanimously at the association’s annual meeting in September, and has raised large numbers of support in Missouri, Utah and North Carolina, as well as other states.
The NASDA plan would establish a tiered-purchase program for the dairy and pork industries, as well as a one-time purchase of turkey products. For dairy, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) would begin with a purchase 75 million pounds of cheese and additional dairy products, as determined by USDA. This would be done in three equal stages over a 120-day period, or until the target all-milk price of $16/cwt.—the cost of production—is met.
According to Steve Troxler, North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture, it’s likely the aid will be distributed through food assistance programs (such as food banks, the school lunch program and a SNAP-PLUS program as well as foreign military food assistance).
Read more about the proposal at http://www.nasda.org/cms/7197/21404/24287.aspx.
The 16 Missouri ag groups include the Missouri Dairy Association, Missouri Dairy Growth Council, Central Equity Dairy Cooperative, FCS Financial, Missouri Agribusiness Association (MO-AG), Missouri Association of Electric Cooperatives, Missouri Bankers Association, Missouri Cattlemen's Association, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Missouri Egg Council, MFA, Inc., Missouri Farmers Union, Missouri Pork Association, Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri Veterinary Medical Association and The Poultry Federation.
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