News for Dairy Co-Ops - February 4, 2011

Volume 69. No. 2

Newsletter Stories

CWT Export Assistance Beyond 2010

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend To FriendSend To Friend

 

CWT Export Assistance Beyond 2010

In 2010, the Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) Export Assistance program assisted member cooperatives in making export sales of Cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Gouda cheese totaling 77.6 million pounds. The sales were made to 27 countries on four continents. Asia and the Middle East accounted for 76% of the cheese sales. Two-thirds of the cheese was shipped in 2010, with one-third to be shipped in the first six months of 2011.

Assistance for butter and anhydrous milk fat totaled 33 million pounds, during the one month these products were eligible for export assistance. Assistance was halted when the butter price hit $2.10 a pound. These products went to nine countries on three continents, with half shipped in 2010, and the other half scheduled to ship in the first quarter of 2011.

The impact of this assistance was significant. Dr. Scott Brown of the University of Missouri and the Food & Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) estimated that these sales actually shipped in 2010 added nearly $400 million of revenue, an average of 18¢ per hundredweight, to producers’ milk checks.

The world market is growing at the rate of eight times faster than the U.S. market. In 2011, dairy exports are on a pace to absorb 15% of producers’ milk solids. To insure that happens, and that U.S. dairy farmers continue to reap the financial rewards of the industry as being a consistent, reliable supplier of dairy products, the Export Assistance program will be the focus of CWT’s efforts in 2011 and 2012. To make that effort as effective as possible, CWT is asking producers, through their cooperatives or as individuals, to pledge to invest 2¢ per hundredweight in CWT for the next two years. Membership information is available atwww.cwt.coop/about/about_membership.html.

 

Dairy Groups Urge Passage of Three FTAs to Grow Jobs in U.S.

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend To FriendSend To Friend

 

Dairy Groups Urge Passage of Three FTAs to Grow Jobs in U.S.

NMPF and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) submitted comments to the House Committee on Ways and Means as part of a hearing held last month on the pending Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. The focus of the hearing was to examine the job creating potential of the three trade agreements.

NMPF and USDEC voiced support for all three FTAs and urged swift congressional passage of each. However, remarks from NMPF and USDEC centered heavily on the tremendous export potential posed by the Korea-U.S. FTA.

“The anticipated growth in our exports of cheese, whey, skim milk powder, and other dairy products will help bolster milk prices for America’s dairy farms, and help to support additional jobs in the dairy processing and transportation sectors,” said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF. “In fact, we estimate that such an increase in U.S. dairy exports would mean as many as 10,000 additional U.S. jobs, on and off the farm.

The dairy organizations also expressed hope that the FTAs with Colombia and Panama would also be approved, citing the anticipated $50 million annual average increase in net benefits to the U.S. dairy industry upon passage of both trade agreements. NMPF and USDEC stressed that the estimates pertaining to the FTAs assume the United States is able to make full use of the new market access opportunities negotiated for in each of these agreements.

 

Dairy Groups Welcome U.S. Government’s First Step Towards Resolution on NAFTA Trucking Dispute

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend To FriendSend To Friend

 

Dairy Groups Welcome U.S. Government’s First Step Towards Resolution on NAFTA Trucking Dispute

At the beginning of the new year, NMPF and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) welcomed the Department of Transportation's release of an “initial concept document” intended to allow for a long–haul, cross-border Mexican trucking program that prioritizes safety, while complying with the U.S. trade obligations to Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The concept document is aimed at rectifying a trade spat between the two countries that is hurting the U.S. dairy sector, among others.

In response to long-standing lack of U.S. compliance with its trucking obligations to Mexico under NAFTA, Mexico has been legally levying tariffs on a variety of U.S. exports since March 2009. Since August 2010, that retaliation list has included many U.S. cheeses.

“We see this announcement as a positive first step towards resolution of this long-running dispute,” said Tom Suber, USDEC president. “Since August, exports of the targeted cheeses to Mexico have plunged by 66% through November of last year. It is good that the United States recognized the heavy toll that retaliation is having on the many impacted sectors, such as America’s dairy industry, and has proposed to begin to move forward with working with Mexico to find a way to address this issue.”

Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF, concurred, adding, “Mexico is by far our largest export market and therefore absorbs sizable quantities of the milk U.S. dairy farmers produce. It is encouraging to see the U.S. initiate a path towards a permanent resolution of this transportation issue that has been negatively impacting the dairy industry, which has been caught in the resulting cross-fire of this dispute.”

 

FDA Delays Testing Compliance Program for Milk Residues

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend To FriendSend To Friend

 

FDA Delays Testing Compliance Program for Milk Residues

Last December, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine informed the dairy industry that it would begin a new milk residue testing compliance program for producers who had a dairy cull cow tissue residue violation during the previous three years. Initially scheduled to begin in January, the FDA compliance project has been placed on hold, while FDA seeks additional stakeholder input. Industry, NCIMS, and State regulators have raised significant concerns about the scope, logistics, and marketplace disruption potential of the FDA compliance project as originally formulated.

The FDA intends to move forward with a compliance project; however, the approach will be different from the one previously announced because FDA now understands the many concerns expressed by stakeholders. FDA has committed to address industry concerns, and is continuing dialogue with stakeholders. NMPF believes that any FDA compliance project must be scaled appropriately to minimize marketplace disruption. FDA continues to affirm the safety of milk, stating, “FDA has not previously held the view, nor does it now hold a view, that the nation’s milk supply is unsafe due to animal drug residues.”

Please contact Jamie JonkerBeth Briczinski, or Betsy Flores for additional information.

 

House Ag Committee Pushes Dairy Legislation

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend To FriendSend To Friend

 

House Ag Committee Pushes Dairy Legislation

On July 28, the House Agriculture Committee approved three key pieces of legislation addressing mandatory dairy price reporting, clean water, and veterinary shortages.

First, the committee approved by voice vote HR 5852, the Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010, a bill to amend and reauthorize the reporting on sales of livestock and dairy products. While dairy price reporting was authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, it was never funded by USDA. This bill forces USDA to fund the electronic system to collect the data that is currently surveyed. More specifically, the following were the modifications authorized through HR 5852:

  • Amends section 273 of the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1946 to require the Secretary to establish an electronic reporting system for dairy.
  • Directs the Secretary to publish the information reported through the electronic reporting system by 3:00 PM ET, each Wednesday.
  • Requires the Secretary to implement the electronic reporting system for dairy not later than one year following enactment of this Act.

Efforts now turn to the Senate Agriculture Committee to pass similar legislation through their panel before Sept. 30th.

Second, the Agriculture panel approved the Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization and Improvement Act (HR 5509). The legislation, a bipartisan effort by the panel’s Subcommittee on Conservation Chairman Tim Holden (D-Pa.) and Ranking Member Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), is a common-sense approach to addressing the needs to improve the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The bill provides sound incentives to support additional environmental best management practices beyond minimum state regulatory compliance requirements, and gives much-needed assurances to farmers and ranchers that by taking certain steps, they will meet expectations to improve water quality in the watershed. The bill now moves on to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to mark up the non-agricultural aspects.

The House bill is contrasted by what is happening in the Senate, where last month, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act of 2009 (S. 1816). The legislation, introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), aims to aggressively address pollution in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Last week, NMPF joined other groups in the agriculture community in opposing the legislation.

Lastly, the Agriculture Committee approved the Veterinary Services Investment Act (H.R. 3519). The bill, which also passed by a voice vote, establishes a competitive grant program at USDA to develop, implement, and sustain veterinary services in underserved areas.

 

New Staff Member Bolsters NMPF's Efforts on Capitol Hill

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend To FriendSend To Friend

 

New Staff Member Bolsters NMPF's Efforts on Capitol Hill

NMPF welcomed a new staff member to its ranks last month with the addition of Jonathon Glueck, who will serve as the Manager of Government Relations.

In his new role at NMPF, Glueck will join Senior Vice President Dana Brooks and Director David Hickey in the Government Relations department. He will be assisting NMPF staff on a number of issues, including immigration, farm policy and trade, and management of NMPF's Political Action Committee. Glueck will specifically be responsible for legislative issues regarding animal welfare and care.

A native of the Texas panhandle who grew up involved in the dairy industry, Glueck earned a B.A. in Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Leadership Development from Texas A&M University. After a short stint serving as an agricultural advisor to the military in Iraq, he most recently served as the Agriculture Legislative Assistant for Congressman Chet Edwards (TX).

 

NMPF Celebrates 95th Anniversary Serving Dairy Producer Community

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend To FriendSend To Friend

 

NMPF Celebrates 95th Anniversary Serving Dairy Producer Community

In 2011, NMPF will celebrate its 95th birthday being the voice on Capitol Hill for dairy farmers and the cooperatives they own. Established in 1916, NMPF has come a long way since its early years, providing a forum through which policy can be formulated on national issues that affect milk production and marketing. NMPF's contribution to this policy has been aimed at improving the economic interests of dairy farmers, thus assuring the nation's consumers an adequate supply of pure, wholesome milk and dairy products. NMPF thanks its cooperatives and their dairy farmer members for their ongoing support and encouragement and looks forward to serving them in the 21st century.

 

NMPF Joins Alliance to Promote Agriculture

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend To FriendSend To Friend

 

NMPF Joins Alliance to Promote Agriculture

As part of an effort to fund programs that will bolster the image of agriculture and enhance public trust in the U.S. food supply, NMPF has joined more than 20 other farmer- and rancher-led organizations to become part of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA). Together these organizations represent nearly all aspects of agriculture. NMPF’s Chris Galen was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Alliance.

Founded in October of last year, the USFRA aims to enhance consumer trust in the U.S. food production system, maintain and enhance the freedom of U.S. farmers and ranchers to operate in a responsible manner, and strengthen collaboration. The members of USFRA plan to work together to augment U.S. consumer trust in modern food production to ensure the abundance of affordable, safe food.

Learn more about the USFRA online at www.usfraonline.org.

 

Obama Discusses Reforming the Regulatory Process

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend To FriendSend To Friend

 

Obama Discusses Reforming the Regulatory Process

In an op-ed column published Jan. 18th in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), President Obama laid out a directive to his administration to examine the system of regulatory actions and the impact it has had on the nation’s economy. According to the column, his plan “requires that federal agencies ensure that regulations protect our safety, health and environment while promoting economic growth. And it orders a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.” Along with the WSJ piece, the President also released an executive order and two memos further laying out his new strategy.

As committee rosters for the House of Representatives are being finalized, the new GOP chairmen have already started their hearings to investigate the regulatory system of the Obama Administration. Over the coming weeks, expect to see a variety of Cabinet members making visits to Capitol Hill, including Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, just to name a few.

Meanwhile, Senators are assembling their lists of current regulations harming their constituencies. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), joined by incoming Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), sent a letter to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Cass Sunstein listing out many of the destructive regulations in place, or in the works, at USDA and EPA. These include: Clean Air Act initiatives, Clean Water Act strategies and rulemakings, GIPSA changes, and biotechnology decisions, amongst many others.

NMPF staff will be working closely with the Administration and Congress to identify the troublesome regulations and work to find solutions for improvement or elimination.

 

Progress Continues on Foundation for the Future

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend To FriendSend To Friend

 

Progress Continues on Foundation for the Future

With the new Congress beginning to get situated for a busy year ahead in Washington, NMPF is continuing to promote the need for a major change in dairy policy, one that reflects the specifics of its Foundation for the Future program.

NMPF staff members have held productive meetings with the new Republican Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, who has indicated a desire to address dairy policy this year. The Agriculture committee’s top Democratic, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, has likewise expressed interest in working with NMPF toward a new dairy policy.

NMPF is working to put into legislative form the specifics of the Foundation for the Future program, so that members of Congress can then have the legislation evaluated for its costs and economic impact. In addition, NMPF is currently preparing a detailed rebuttal of the recent dairy processor-funded critique of the potential impact on dairy farmers of Foundation for the Future.

 

Senate Repeals 1099 Tax Reporting Law

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend To FriendSend To Friend

Senate Repeals 1099 Tax Reporting Law

The Senate voted 81-17 on Feb. 2 to repeal the new tax reporting requirement known as the IRA form 1099. The amendment was offered by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill.

The 1099 mandate included in the new healthcare law required governments, nonprofits, and businesses of all sizes across the nation to report IRS information on virtually all non-credit card purchases totaling $600 or more with any vendor in a tax year. By requiring an employer to issue a 1099 for every $600 payment or for any series of payments that accumulates to $600, the amount of paperwork and compliance will drastically increase. If this provision is implemented, the mandate will impose substantial burdens on the backs small businesses - especially farms and ranches.

The House must now act on the same language or a similar amendment before 2012. The Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 201, (HR 4) introduced by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) to repeal form 1099 information reporting requirements now has 263 cosponsors. NMPF urges members of Congress to support this effort.

NMPF, along with 27 other agriculture groups, have sent several letters of support to Congress regarding the reality of the 1099 reporting, including letters to Senator Max Baucus and Senator Mike Johanns.

USDA Releases 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend To FriendSend To Friend

 

USDA Releases 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

On January 31, the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) were released by the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The guidelines continue to encourage 3 daily servings of low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products for adults and children nine years and older. For children ages 4-8, the recommendation was increased from 2 to 2.5 servings, and for children ages 2-3, the recommendation remained at 2 servings.

Overall, the DGA recommendations were positive for dairy. The DGA emphasized the importance of establishing good milk drinking habits at a young age, as those who consume milk at an early age are more likely to do so as adults. According to the DGA, current evidence shows intake of milk and milk products is linked to improved bone health, especially in children and adolescents, and is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and lower blood pressure in adults. The dairy foods group contributes many nutrients that are important for good health and is the number one food source of three of the four nutrients the DGA identified as lacking in the American diet – calcium, vitamin D, and potassium.

The joint dairy industry statement and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans policy document are available online.

 

CEO’S CORNER


Jim Mulhern
NMPF President & CEO
Associate Member Focus: 

 

Milk Producers Council

The Milk Producers Council (MPC) is a nonprofit organization representing dairy families throughout California. For the past 60 years, MPC’s staff and board of directors have been working on behalf of their members on issues such as milk pricing formulas, environmental regulations, and any other local, state or federal issues facing dairy families today.

To learn more about MPC, please visit their website at www.milkproducerscouncil.org. MPC’s representative is Rob Vandenheuvel, who can be reached at 909-628-6018.