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NMPF Works with Dairy Farmers to Voice Their Support of DAIRY PRIDE Legislation

May 8, 2017

Dairy farmers in April continued to speak out in support of the DAIRY PRIDE Act (DPA), legislation that would prompt the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce its own law stating that any food product using the term “milk” on its label must come from an animal source, not a plant.

In April, two Virginia dairy farmers submitted op-ed columns to prominent local newspapers explaining their support of the DPA and why their elected officials should back the bill. Matt Nuckols (right), of Beaverdam, Va., wrote in the Richmond Times-Dispatch that is it unfair for FDA to ignore its own food labeling laws when dairy producers strictly follow government regulations to produce a safe, healthy food.

“We ask that these agencies honor their side of the deal, and enforce the rules for other ‘milk’ makers, too,” Nuckols said.  He indicated that government regulators should not be able to pick and choose which policies to enforce, any more than farmers should be able to.

Mark Sowers (left), of Floyd, Va., used his column in the Roanoke Times to note the importance of DPA for Virginia’s 1,000 dairy operations and the state’s robust agriculture sector.

“In 2014, milk was the state’s third-most profitable agricultural product, bringing in $478 million from over 1,000 operations,” he said. “Virginia’s reputation as a strong agriculture state is too great to risk the invasion of these imitators.”

Earlier in April, Sen. Angus King (I-ME) announced his support for the DPA, following another column from Maine dairy farmer Travis Fogler in the state’s largest newspaper, the Portland Press-Herald. To date, the DPA has been backed by the following senators and congresspersons: King, Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Jim Risch (R-ID) in the Senate; and Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Joe Courtney (D-CT), David Valadao (R-CA), Susan DelBene (D-WA), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), Ron Kind (D-WI), Thomas Rooney (R-FL), James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Richard Nolan (D-MN) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY)  in the House.

NMPF continues to publicize legislative action alerts, news articles, infographics and other materials that inform and encourage support for DPA. NMPF strongly encourages cooperatives to share these materials with staff, producer-members and on social media to whip up industry and congressional support.