Dairy Farmers Need Relief

WASHINGTON - The National Farmers Union Board of Directors late last week voted to encourage Congress to pass a dairy stimulus package as an immediate financial lifeline for America’s dairy producers.
calendar icon 23 June 2009
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The board expressed support for the concept of the Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act of 2009, providing an adequate economic safety net and establishing an inventory management program.

In a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, Iowa, and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss, Georgia, and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, Minnesota, and Ranking Member Frank Lucas, Oklahoma, NFU President Roger Johnson said dairy operations of all sizes and across all regions of the country are facing an unprecedented economic disaster.

“From Minnesota to California and Texas to Vermont, the current situation is untenable. Equity is rapidly disappearing, market prices remain at 1970 levels, creditors and feed suppliers are cutting off producers yet there is no relief in sight,” Johnson wrote. “Congress, the administration and the American public must not wait any longer in offering these individuals a lifeline.”

In March, NFU member-delegates approved a special policy resolution focused on the dairy crisis, including availability of low-interest and emergency loans, mitigation of loan foreclosure, establishment of a dairy price support program that accounts for the total cost of production, elimination of authority for dairy forward contracting and closing trade loopholes that allow unlimited amounts of imported milk proteins to displace domestic milk, along with many others.

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