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DPAC members remind Congress: Still work to be done

DPAC members visiting the Capitol included, from left: Dennis Wolff, Alan Kozak, George Mueller, and Rob Barley.

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Members of the Dairy Policy Action Coalition traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of the House and Senate and their staffers just hours before they left town for the August recess. The lobbyists-for-a-day, from Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York, made the trip to thank House members for passing the Goodlatte-Scott Amendment, which includes stand-alone margin insurance.

The Dairy Policy Action Coalition (DPAC) is described as a ‘coalition of grassroots dairy producers actively participating, with a unified voice, on policies and issues affecting milk pricing.’

“Dairy farmers were grateful for the resounding defeat of the supply management provision in the House version of the Farm Bill,” said Rob Barley of Star Rock Farm, Conestoga, Pa. “We hope that the Senate will take notice and keep supply management out of the conference version of the bill.”

The group also encouraged the Senate to support the Goodlatte-Scott language when the bill goes to conference. The Senate version of the farm bill includes the controversial supply management provision that would discourage farmers from participating in a margin insurance program as well as damage America’s dairy industry’s reputation of being a dependable supplier on the global market.  

“Export sales are fast becoming the lifeblood of the U.S. Dairy Industry,” noted Dennis Wolff, a dairy producer. “Federal policy should encourage this growing market, not harm it.” 

DPAC has been a vocal opponent of the supply management program since its introduction as Foundation for the Future nearly four years ago. DPAC members have attended hearings and forums, written letters to the editor and to members of Congress, and spoken at public meetings.

“Dairy policy is already too complex and supply management only adds to this problem. As proposed in the Senate Farm Bill, it adds 38 pages of new language!” added George Mueller of Willow Bend Farm, Clifton Springs, N.Y. 

“With the world population projected to be 9 billion and the global demand for food expected to double in the coming years, there is no place for quotas in agriculture policy,” concluded Alan Kozak of Clover Patch Dairy, Millersburg, Ohio.