Senate Repeals 1099 Tax Reporting LawFebruary 04, 2011
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.
NMPF Celebrates 95th Anniversary Serving Dairy Producer CommunityFebruary 04, 2011
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.
New Staff Member Bolsters NMPF’s Efforts on Capitol HillFebruary 04, 2011
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 Joins Alliance to Promote AgricultureFebruary 04, 2011
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.
Dairy Groups Welcome U.S. Government’s First Step Towards Resolution on NAFTA Trucking DisputeFebruary 04, 2011
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.”
Dairy Groups Urge Passage of Three FTAs to Grow Jobs in U.S.February 04, 2011
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.
Obama Discusses Reforming the Regulatory ProcessFebruary 04, 2011
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.
House Ag Committee Announces New Member RosterFebruary 04, 2011
Republican Chairman Frank Lucas (OK) and Democrat Ranking Member Collin Peterson (MN) recently released the member list of the 112th House Agriculture Committee. The members of the House who will serve on the committee are as follows:
|OK-3 Frank D. Lucas||MN-7 Collin Peterson|
|VA-6 Bob Goodlatte||PA-17 Tim Holden|
|IL-15 Tim Johnson||NC-7 Mike McIntyre|
|IA-5 Steve King||IA-3 Leonard Boswell|
|TX-19 Randy Neugebauer||CA-43 Joe Baca|
|TX-11 Michael Conaway||CA-18 Dennis Cardoza|
|NE-1 Jeff Fortenberry||GA-13 David Scott|
|OH-2 Jean Schmidt||TX-28 Henry Cuellar|
|PA-5 Glenn Thompson||CA-20 Jim Costa|
|FL-16 Tom Rooney||MN-1 Timothy Walz|
|AR-1 Rick Crawford||OR-5 Kurt Schrader|
|TN-4 Scott DesJarlais||NC-8 Larry Kissell|
|NC-2 Renee Ellmers||NY-23 Bill Owens|
|TN-8 Stephen Fincher||ME-1 Chellie Pingree|
|OH-18 Bob Gibbs||CT-2 Joe Courtney|
|NY-20 Chris Gibson||VT-At Large Peter Welch|
|MO-4 Vicky Hartzler||OH-11 Marcia Fudge|
|KS-1 Tim Huelskamp||NMI-Delegate Gregorio Sablan|
|IL-14 Randy Hultgren||AL-7 Terri Sewell|
|WI-8 Reid Ribble||MA-3 James McGovern|
|AL-2 Martha Roby|
|IL-17 Bobby Schilling|
|GA-8 Austin Scott|
|FL-2 Steve Southerland|
|IN-3 Marlin Stutzman|
|CO-3 Scott Tipton|
The Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Subcommittee will be chaired by Rep. Tom Rooney (FL) with Ranking Member Rep. Dennis Cardoza (CA). John Goldberg (Majority) and Mary Knigge (Minority) will be the committee staffers assigned to this subcommittee.
Of the 46 Republicans and Democrats on the Committee, 26 are new to the committee, and of those 26, 17 are freshman members. This is a great opportunity for new member education. NMPF looks forward to working with all members of the committee in the future.
USDA Releases 2010 Dietary Guidelines for AmericansFebruary 04, 2011
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.
FDA Delays Testing Compliance Program for Milk ResiduesFebruary 04, 2011
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 Jonker, Beth Briczinski, or Betsy Flores for additional information.
CWT Export Assistance Beyond 2010February 04, 2011
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.
Progress Continues on Foundation for the FutureFebruary 04, 2011
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.