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NMPF Testifies at House Ag Committee Field Hearing

May 4, 2010


NMPF Testifies at House Ag Committee Field Hearing

Lauren Mosemann testified on April 20th before the House Agriculture Committee in Harrisburg, PA, on behalf of member cooperative Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) in April. Lauren and her husband, Mark, farm with his family at Misty Mountain Dairy in Warfordsburg, PA.

The hearing was focused on the dairy industry and future policy. With dairy farmers in the United States having experienced their worst financial year in memory in 2009, NMPF encouraged Congress to focus on solutions that address the underlying problems that caused the crisis and will help the industry avoid recurrences of this situation in the future.

The testimony highlighted that last year, NMPF created a Strategic Planning Task Force to seek consensus across the dairy producer community and create a solid “Foundation for the Future.” Mosemann further explained that the goal has been to analyze and develop a long-term strategic plan that will have a positive impact on the various factors influencing both supply and demand for milk and dairy products. Mosemann outlined the different aspects of the NMPF proposal and emphasized that both the Dairy Product Price Support Program and the MILC program are inadequate protections against not just periodic low milk prices, but also destructively low profit margins that occur when input costs, especially feed prices, rise rapidly. More specifically, it was emphasized that the Price Support Program, in particular, seems to have outlived its usefulness and now hinders the ability of U.S. and world markets to adjust to supply-demand signals. Neither program was designed to function in a more globalized market, where not just milk prices, but also feed costs and energy expenses, are more volatile and trending higher.

In closing, Mosemann addressed other issues of importance to dairy including immigration and estate tax reform. As other hearings are scheduled in the coming weeks and months, NMPF will seek further opportunities to advocate for much-needed dairy policy reform.