Today, July 13, the Midwest Dairy Coalition called on U.S. Secretary Perdue to provide immediate emergency assistance to dairy farmers, in light of the significant downturn in dairy prices resulting from the retaliatory tariffs imposed on U.S. dairy products by our major dairy trading partners, particularly Mexico and China. With the worsening trade war, Secretary Perdue has made public statements suggesting that he plans to take action to compensate farmers for the harms they suffer as a result of the retaliatory tariffs on farm products. The Midwest Dairy Coalition's letter to the Secretary gives our input on how to structure that emergency assistance for dairy farmers and the need to take action immediately.
The Midwest Dairy Coalition has submitted comments to FDA Commissioner Gottlieb in regards to the use of dairy product names in labeling of plant-based foods, which can confuse consumers. Read the letter here.
The Midwest Dairy Coalition sent a letter to USDA Secretary Perdue, calling for actions to provide additional risk management options for dairy farmers. Read the letter here.
June was a very busy month for our Farm Bill work in Washington. The House passed its version of the new 5-year Farm Bill on June 21st, and the Senate passed its version on June 28th.
The next step is for the senior members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to meet in a joint Conference Committee to reconcile the differences between the two versions of the bill. Once that final bill is written, it must be passed through both the House and Senate and sent to the President's desk for signature. The current Farm Bill expires on September 30th of this year.
Below is a chart that compares the dairy provisions of the two bills and shows the improvements relative to the current version of the Margin Protection Program.
The Midwest Dairy Coalition will be advocating for the best of the House and Senate dairy provisions to be included in the final bill. Our goal to provide the most affordable and effective safety net for dairy farmers and to give farmers the maximum of level of flexibility and choices to manage risk.
The Midwest Dairy Coalition joined others in the industry in signing a joint letter to House and Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee leaders. Find details here.
Historically, federal dairy policy has penalized regions like the Upper Midwest by establishing policies that discriminate against manufactured dairy products, such as cheese, that are the mainstay of our region's dairy industry.
The Coalition has built a long history of working to end such discrimination, and promote policies that provide benefits to producers without regard to the end use of milk..
The Coalition has been instrumental in the creation of national dairy policies that effectively provide a counter-cyclical safety net for dairy producers in all regions. The Coalition's approach to policy has been extremely helpful to rural economies of dairy-dependent Upper Midwestern states.
The Midwest Dairy Coalition is an alliance of dairy cooperatives representing Upper Midwest dairy producers on federal dairy policy issues.
The Midwest Dairy Coalition forwarded a letter to the FDA, asking it to reject a proposal that would jeopardize dairy standards of identity. Read the letter here.
Washington, D.C., June 12, 2018 – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the re-enrollment deadline for the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for Dairy will be extended until June 22, 2018. The new and improved program protects participating dairy producers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below levels of protection selected by the applicant. USDA has already issued more than $89 million for margins triggered in February, March, and April, and USDA offices are continuing to process remaining payments daily.
“Last week we re-opened enrollment to offer producers preoccupied with field work an additional opportunity to come into their local office to sign-up. We did get more than 500 new operations enrolled but want to continue to provide an opportunity for folks to participate before the next margin is announced,” said Secretary Perdue. “More than 21,000 American dairies have gone into our 2,200 FSA offices to sign-up for 2018 MPP coverage but I am certain we can do better with this extra week and a half.”
The Midwest Dairy Coalition has sent a letter to USDA Secretary Perdue (with related attachments) making the case for a better payment rate to dairy farmers for the second round of tariff remediation payments. Read the letter here.
On December 20, 2018, the President signed the new 5-year Farm Bill into law. The bill, officially called the "Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018," includes significant reforms to dairy risk management program options that will help provide greater economic stability for participating dairy farmers,.
See what Midwest Dairy Coalition Members are saying about the new Farm Bill:
AMPI: New dairy program is significant shift for dairy farmers
The Midwest Dairy Coalition has asked USDA to extend the sign-up period for MPP, citing a late spring that has likely dampened sign ups to date. Read the letter here.