Wisconsin Dairy Group Urges House and Senate Ag Committee Leaders to Support Margin Insurance Without Supply Management

May 13, 2013 12:47 PM

Dairy Business Association wants congressional leaders to opt for the Dairy Freedom Act as they take up the farm bill this week.

Source: Wisconsin Dairy Business Association

Wisconsin’s Dairy Business Association (DBA) reported today it has written to House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders, urging them to support margin insurance for dairy farmers without tying it to a supply management program.

The House and Senate Agriculture Committees are expected to take up the farm bill again and on the topic of dairy policy reform, there are two options to choose from, the Dairy Freedom Act and the Dairy Security Act.

Both offer risk management insurance to dairy farmers. Both eliminate the Dairy Product Price Support Program (DPPSP), Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program, and the Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP). But only one--the Dairy Security Act--expands government intervention into dairy markets, artificially increasing prices and the costs of dairy products for consumers.

"As an organization comprised of both dairy producers and processors, we are in a unique position to explain why the Dairy Freedom Act is the best option for all of us in the dairy industry," wrote DBA president and farm owner Jerry Meissner, president of DBA’s board of directors and owner of Norm-E-Lane, Inc., a 2,000-cow operation near Chili, Wi.

"And as producers and processors in Wisconsin, America’s second largest dairy producing state, we can tell you why the supply management program included in the Dairy Security Act would be the worst thing for our growing industry," Meissner noted.

Recent reports found that both the Dairy Freedom Act and DSA are "effective in providing catastrophic risk insurance" for stable and growing dairy farms. A key difference between the two proposals, however, is that the Dairy Security Act contains the supply management provision called the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP), while Goodlatte-Scott does not.

"The DMSP adds even more government intrusion into an already highly regulated dairy industry," the letter continues, "and would impose new and costly regulations on the nation's dairy processors. Among other requirements, processors would be forced to keep extensive production records for each dairy farmer, to withhold payments from those farmers when the program kicks in and to remit the revenues to USDA."

"Dairy industry growth should not be subject to any impediments," the letter concludes. "By dropping the supply management program, the Goodlatte Scott dairy bill represents a true compromise that is broadly supported and won’t stand in the way of moving the 2013 Farm Bill forward. "

DBA is an industry organization comprised of dairy producers, corporate as well as allied industry supporters. DBA promotes the growth and success of all dairy farms in Wisconsin by fostering a positive business and political environment. For more information about DBA, visit DBA’s website.

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