The Wisconsin Dairy Business Association is leading opposition to supply controls contained within proposed dairy policy legislation. Joined by nearly a dozen dairy industry organizations, DBA has sent a letter to House and Senate leaders urging them to reject the Dairy Market Stabilization Program proposed by the National Milk Producers Federation and included in the draft bill that Rep. Collin Peterson has offered for discussion.
"We are becoming increasingly alarmed that policy makers and elected officials believe there is consensus in the dairy industry on proposed dairy policy," said Laurie Fischer, DBA's executive director. "There is not, and we hope that these letters will serve as evidence that while we agree that dairy policy reform is necessary, it must not come at the expense of farmers and others who rely on the industry for their livelihood."
The letter, addressed to Senator Frank Lucas and Rep. Collin Peterson of the Senate and House Committees on Agriculture, begins, "Dairy farms are important to our communities, our families and our economy. And the growth of dairy in our regions has expanded jobs and created potential in our industry for the next generation of dairy farmers.
"Some farmers feel that a government-run 'supply management' program would help make sure all farmers stay within historical production limits and that this would help keep prices at profitable levels. We strongly disagree with this approach, and oppose any regulations designed to manage the milk supply by requiring all farmers to reduce their production."
DBA is joined by the Board of Directors of Bongards' Creameries (Minnesota), Minnesota Milk Producers Association, First District Association (Minnesota), Alliance Dairies (Florida), Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative (Wisconsin), Dairy Policy Action Coalition, High Desert Milk (Idaho), National All-Jersey Inc. (Ohio) and the Northeast Dairy Producers Association as co-signers of the letter. DBA anticipates this list will grow over the coming weeks and months.