From Jim Mulhern, President and Chief Executive Officer, NMPF on Feb. 4:
“It has been a long and torturous road toward the creation of a better safety net for dairy farmers, but with today’s vote in the Senate to approve the farm bill, coupled with last week’s House vote, that five-year journey has reached its end.
“We didn’t wind up precisely where we wanted in terms of the dairy program, but the milk glass is more than half-full. The new farm bill replaces three outmoded programs intended to help farmers — but that often failed in that effort. In their place is a new, more modern, and more comprehensive margin protection program offering dairy producers a far better and more effective safety net. Because it is designed to protect against periods of both low milk prices as well as high feed costs, margin insurance is a better risk management tool to help farmers deal with the global volatility in commodity prices in the 21st century.
“On behalf of our dairy farmer members, I want to thank the farm bill conference committee principals — Senators Debbie Stabenow and Thad Cochran, and Representatives Frank Lucas and Collin Peterson — as well as Senator Patrick Leahy, for all of their enormous efforts, and those of their staffs, to fashion this new dairy policy.
“I also want to express my appreciation to all of the farmers, cooperatives, and farm organizations that have helped throughout this long process. The members of NMPF have worked tirelessly since 2009 to build a new and better dairy program. The farm bill’s margin protection program is a tribute to their dedication and commitment.”