Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) testified before the House Agriculture Committee sharing priorities for the next farm bill and stating improvements to the dairy Margin Protection Program must be a top priority.
Mulhern told committee members, “While MPP was, and is, the right approach for the future of federal dairy policy, the program in its current form does not provide meaningful safety net support to the nation’s dairy farmers.”
The MPP is designed to allow farmers to insure the gap between milk prices and the cost of purchasing feed for dairy cattle. Farmers can choose to pay higher premiums for additional levels of margin coverage, although a decreasing number have elected that approach as they saw the program underperforming.
Since its creation in the 2014 farm bill, the MPP has offered little effective support to dairy farmers, resulting in dwindling participation in the program. To rectify that problem, Mulhern shared with the committee members the recommendations to improve the MPP that NMPF’s Board of Directors unanimously approved earlier this month.