House Ag Committee holds dairy hearing |

House Ag Committee holds dairy hearing

The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing Wednesday on the dairy provisions on the farm bill.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott, D-Ga., and Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., often express disagreements during farm bill hearings, but their opening and concluding statements offered little in the way of partisan differences.

“Dairy farmers are incredibly hard workers who have faced many challenging years recently ” Scott said in a statement after the hearing.

“While the creation of the Dairy Margin Coverage program in the last farm bill has provided beneficial improvements, we must continue to ensure our dairy industry has a safety net that works.”

“Changing consumer preferences, labor shortages, and the perishability of dairy products are just a few of the challenges our dairy farmers face,” Scott continued. “Although we might not be able to address all of these challenges directly through farm bill policies, we must continue to have conversations like the one we had today.”

Thompson said, “As a descendant of many generations of hardworking dairymen and women, I am pleased to have worked closely with Chairman Scott to schedule today’s hearing on farm bill dairy provisions.”

“A strong and resilient dairy sector is critical to our rural communities, especially in my home state of Pennsylvania, and it is incumbent upon my colleagues and I to get dairy policy right in the upcoming farm bill reauthorization,” Thompson added.

“Today’s hearing highlighted the need for a robust safety net that helps producers weather the tough years and effective programs that bolster the movement of dairy products throughout the supply chain.”

The National Milk Producers Federation noted in a statement that the dairy industry, under NMPF’s leadership, is seeking consensus on a range of Federal Milk Marketing Order improvements, including the Class I mover, that can be taken to USDA for consideration in a federal order hearing.

Mike Durkin, president of Leprino Food Company, tested on behalf of the International Dairy Foods Association, a processor group, that IDFA recommends that:

▪ Congress require USDA to conduct regular cost of processing studies that will generate data for our industry to use to develop proposals to adjust make allowances. Current make allowances have not been adjusted in over 15 years, and as a result, they don’t reflect the cost of manufacturing today’s dairy products.

▪ The House Agriculture Committee reauthorize and expand the Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives Projects in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

▪ Congress pass permanent authorization of the Dairy Forward Pricing Program, which allows producers to enter into forward price contracts with milk buyers for milk used to manufacture Class II, III, or IV products. Current authority for this program expires on Sept. 30, 2023 which means that no forward price contracts may be entered into after that date.


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