In mid-September, lawmakers from Wisconsin introduced legislation in the U.S. House to create a Dairy Pricing and Policy Commission. The proposal would evaluate the difficulties dairy farmers are facing and recommend solution to secure their future. Representatives Ron Kind and Mike Gallagher, both Democrats from Wisconsin, introduced the bill. Kind said lawmakers need to step up with creative solutions to support our family farmers.
“The last few years have been brutal with record bankruptcies every year, low commodity prices, it’s hard for our producers to get a good market price so that they can pay their bills and keep these operations in order. And, part of the problem is overproduction, which is flooding the market and driving that market price down, so our farmers don’t get a good return on all the hard work that they are doing, and it makes it hard for them to pay their bills, then.”
The Dairy Pricing and Policy Commission would consist of a broad coalition of dairy farmers, dairy processors, and other industry experts who would provide recommendations on some of the biggest challenges facing our dairy farmers.
“This bipartisan bill that Mike and I have just introduced would create a non-partisan commission to study the effects of overproduction in agriculture generally, the dairy industry more specifically, and come up with policy prescriptions of how we can guard against that overproduction, and therefore, our farmers will be able to get a good market price for their hard work,” Kind continued. “And that’s what I hear from them most of all, they’re not looking for bailouts, cash assistance from Washington, even though today 40% of all-farm income are, federal payments. They don’t want that, they want to be self-sustaining.”
Kind added the commission would consider supply chain issues, investigate export challenges and opportunities, and consider Federal Milk Marketing Order reforms.
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