Dairy Industry Makes Farm Policy Recommendations to Committee
(April 5, 2001)
Representatives of the nation's dairy industry appeared before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture to present their recommendations for future farm policy. Emphasis was placed on an economic safety net for the dairy producers.
"This Committee has had high expectations of each and every witness that has presented testimony. Likewise, our farmers have high expectations of this Committee. We have a challenging task ahead as we get down to the nuts and bolts of crafting the farm policy that will impact so many lives," said Chairman Larry Combest (R-Texas).
Mr. Jerry Kozak, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Milk Producers Federation, presented testimony on behalf of the dairy industry. The industry believes that the commercial marketplace is the best judge of how dairy products should be marketed, but the government has a role to play in proving an economic safety net for dairy producers. According to the industry, this safety net should accomplish four goals:
· Protect viable dairy farm operations from short-term disaster.
· Maintain a level of income sufficient to satisfy demand for milk.
· Not discriminate among regions or between farm operations of different sizes.
· Enable supply to adjust to demand.
Based on these goals, the dairy industry recommends the enactment of a dairy safety net that is comprised of the following features:
· Extend the dairy price support purchase program at the current support price of $9.90 per hundredweight.
· Maintain the current CCC purchase prices for nonfat dry milk and butter at their current rates.
· Extend the Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP).
· Establish a supplemental payment program through federal and state milk marketing orders to ensure that revenues received by dairy producers from sales of Class III and Class IV milk are no less than $11.08 per hundredweight.