Dairy leader’s letter on fair milk prices sent to Ag Committees

To: Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Ag Committee,
Senator Thad Cochran, Minority Chair of the Senate Ag Committee
Rep. Frank Lucas; Chair; House Ag Committee
Rep. Colin Peterson, Minority Chair; House Ag Committee
                                                                                                                                                       January 10, 2014
Dear Agriculture Leaders:
 
I fully believe it’s time you bring closure to the various suggestions being considered for dairy farmers in the Farm Bill.  I’ve been trying to convince dairy farmers for 50 years that they deserve a price for their milk that will give them a chance to cover their cost of operations plus receive a return on their investments.  The Senate version of the Farm Bill contains a provision that strongly suggests the US Secretary of Agriculture hold hearings to consider a new pricing formula to determine a fair price for dairy farmers to receive for the milk they produce.  I cannot over-emphasize the need for these hearings.  I strongly urge this provision remain in the final Farm Bill. 

 

Milk Supply Management Programs – There is a milk supply management program that is available for Congress to consider. This is a STANDBY program that would be implemented ONLY WHEN the US Secretary of Agriculture anticipated there was too much milk being produced for the domestic market.  Dairy farmers that overproduce would receive a lower price for their milk that is not needed, but they would receive a normal price for the remainder of their milk.  This program would go hand-in-hand with the hearings the Secretary should conduct.  These programs would not cost the taxpayer any money.  The money the dairy farmers would pay into the program would be used to purchase unneeded products from the processors and would be given to the needy people in the USA.   This inventory management program is contained in the Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act, which had been introduced in the past by former Senator Arlen Specter and Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.

 

I strongly urge all of you to look at these programs before you pass the Farm Bill.
 
Sincerely,
Arden Tewksbury
Manager, Progressive Agriculture Organization
Chair; National Family Farm Coalition’s Dairy Sub-Committee
1300 Rattlesnake Hill Rd
Meshoppen, PA 18630

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