Dairy Security Act Introduced in House

Cindy Zimmerman

A new dairy risk management strategy that would update existing dairy programs was introduced Friday in the House by Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Rep. Mike Simpson (D-ID).

The Dairy Security Act of 2011 would include three main components – a Dairy Producer Margin Protection Program, a Dairy Market Stabilization Program and reforms to the Federal Milk Marketing Order system, according to a news release issued by House Agriculture Committee Democrats.

“If we have another crisis like we had in 2009, when milk prices dropped and input costs skyrocketed, I fear we could lose half our dairies,” Peterson said. “The dairy safety net did not work then and it won’t work if similar events occur now. Producers cannot wait for another crisis or a new farm bill for Congress to fix the broken dairy safety net. Feedback from all sectors of the diverse dairy industry has been instrumental in drafting this bill, and I look forward to continuing these conversations, as well as working with other members of Congress to advance dairy reform.”

“It’s been helpful to me to hear from Idaho’s dairy industry about changes that we can make to the dairy program to prevent another economic crisis like that the industry faced in 2009. I appreciate the cooperative spirit and contributions of the members of the dairy industry thus far and look forward to continuing this conversation as the legislation moves through the committee process. I am confident that the Dairy Security Act of 2011 will provide an effective economic safety net for the U.S. dairy industry while saving taxpayer dollars,” Simpson said.

Both the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) support the proposed legislation. “It’s been a long journey of reforming dairy policy following the difficult days of 2009, when America’s dairy producers lost billions of dollars in equity, but the introduction of the Dairy Security Act is a huge step towards ending an ineffective program, and replacing it with something much better,” said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF.

“The Dairy Security Act of 2011 provides producers options to protect their margins and the ability to strengthen exports, both of which will be instrumental in maintaining the vitality of the U.S. dairy industry,” said a statement from DFA.

Read more about the bill here.

DFA, Government, National Milk