NMPF’s Galen Explains Latest Development in Farm Bill Process in Congress

NMPF’s Senior Vice President Chris Galen explains for listeners of Dairy Radio Now how the House and Senate agriculture committees are each now seeking to advance their respective versions of the 2024 Farm Bill.  Galen describes how the measures may affect dairy policy, and what the next steps are for lawmakers this spring on Capitol Hill.


NMPF’s Bjerga on Agriculture and Ukraine’s Humanitarian Crisis

NMPF Senior Vice President of Communications Alan Bjerga discusses the widening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and Eastern Europe on RFD-TV. NMPF’s Board of Directors last week moved to ask federal policymakers to expand all forms of domestic energy production to ease expected price spikes for farmers; meanwhile, the Board also encouraged NMPF to seek out ways dairy producers can offer humanitarian and agricultural assistance to Ukrainians, which is expected to be both a short- and longer-term effort.

NMPF’s Mulhern Speaks at Annual Meeting


NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern speaks at the organization’s annual meeting in Las Vegas, NV on Nov. 16.

NMPF Statement on Electoral-Vote Certification and Condemnation of Insurrection at U.S. Capitol

From NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern:

The National Milk Producers Federation congratulates incoming President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, and we applaud the culmination of the democratic process achieved at the U.S. Capitol early this morning under previously unimaginable circumstances.

Yesterday’s reprehensible violence was an attack on our democracy, intended to undermine the results of a free and fair election and desecrate the sovereign will of the American people. Peaceful protest is a cornerstone of our society; yesterday’s insurrection put thousands of lives in danger in a brazen mob attempt to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power that has marked our country since its founding and has always set apart the United States as an example to the rest of the world.

We are grateful to the many professionals who kept our friends, colleagues and fellow citizens safe during this trying ordeal. We emphatically reject the rhetoric of elected officials whose words encouraged and perpetuated yesterday’s assault on our democracy. And we pledge to do our part to work with the Biden Administration and Congress to move our country forward this year, always supporting the democratic ideals that remain the foundation of these United States.

NMPF Celebrates Rep. Glenn Thompson’s Election as Ranking Member of House Agriculture Committee

The National Milk Producers Federation today congratulated Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) on being elected by his colleagues to serve as the Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee in the 117th Congress. Rep. Thompson is the descendant of a long line of dairy farmers and been a champion of dairy producers on the House Agriculture Committee since coming to Congress in 2009.

“We have enjoyed working with Congressman Thompson and his team for years. GT has been a vocal and effective advocate for the needs of dairy farmers in Pennsylvania and throughout the country,” said Jim Mulhern, NMPF president and CEO. “He also has a keen understanding of the need to build a vibrant rural economy to sustain a safe, abundant, and affordable food supply to nourish our country and our planet.”

During his time in Congress, Rep. Thompson has played a critical role in enacting bipartisan policies that create an effective climate for dairy farmers and their cooperatives to produce safe, healthy dairy products in an environmentally sustainable manner. As Vice Chairman of the Agriculture Committee, GT worked with his colleagues to secure much-needed dairy policy reforms, culminating in the Dairy Margin Coverage program created in the 2018 Farm Bill.

Congressman Thompson served as Chairman of the Conservation and Nutrition Subcommittees during the writing of the last two farm bills. He has championed bipartisan legislation to improve the effectiveness of farm bill conservation programs and to enhance consumption of nutritious dairy products. In addition, GT has been a vocal advocate for expanding markets for all farmers, helping to push through the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement last year.

“Congressman Thompson’s bipartisan record of achievement speaks for itself, and we are eager to work with him to build on that record as he assumes his new role,” said Mulhern. “We congratulate GT on his appointment as Ranking Member and know he will continue to be a leading voice in the House for dairy and all of agriculture.”

NMPF featured Rep. Thompson on its Dairy Defined podcast earlier this year. The full interview is available here.

Looking To 2021, All Dairy Farmers Should Sign Up for DMC, NMPF Says

With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis teaching hard lessons on risk management throughout agriculture, and with dairy margins expected to be volatile over the next year, the National Milk Producers Federation is urging farmers to sign up for maximum 2021 coverage under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dairy Margin Coverage program. DMC signup begins today.

“The DMC emphatically proved its worth this year, as payouts rapidly reacted to unprecedented price plunges and protected farmers exactly when they most needed help,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Coronavirus-related volatility in dairy markets is expected to continue well into 2021, with DMC payments a possibility. That makes it essential that farmers include DMC coverage in the robust risk-management plans they will need to ensure financial stability.”

DMC, the main risk-protection tool for dairy farmers enacted in the 2018 Farm Bill, is designed to promote stable revenues and protect against financial catastrophe on some or all of a farmer’s milk. Despite forecasts in late 2019 predicting that DMC assistance wouldn’t be needed by farmers in 2020, margins instead fell to their lowest levels in more than a decade in the first half of this year, triggering payments that undoubtedly kept many participating dairies afloat. And unlike difficult-to-predict federal disaster assistance that’s provided via specific legislation or administrative action, DMC coverage offers certainty in times of need, allowing for better financial planning and faster payment when necessary.

DMC also offers:

  • Affordable higher coverage levels that permit all dairy producers to insure margins up to $9.50/cwt. on their Tier 1 (first five million pounds) production history. Recent margin trends in reference to that $9.50 threshold is included in the graphic below.
  • Affordable $5.00 coverage that offers meaningful catastrophic coverage for farms of all sizes.

NMPF has a resource page on its website with more information about the DMC.

Dairy Defined Podcast: Sustainability, in All Its Forms, Key to Dairy’s Future, Vold Says

On National Farmer’s Day, dairy farmer Suzanne Vold is highlighting dairy’s commitments to the environment and a net-zero future, noting that her colleagues are already effective stewards and are committed to doing more.

“We need to work with our partners in government. We need to work with partners in academia, dairy science departments, and agronomy departments and our colleges and universities. And we need to work with our cooperatives, the companies that process our milk into products to sell,” said Vold in the latest Dairy Defined podcast, released today. “But we have to start the work somewhere, and we have to start the work now.”

Vold, with her husband, brother-in-law and two part-time employees, runs Dorrich Dairy, a 400-cow, fourth-generation dairy farm in western Minnesota. In the podcast, she also discusses specific practices on her farm that save money and create potential revenues as well as improve water and soil health – as well as the importance of other initiatives important to dairy and agriculture, from the Dairy Margin Coverage program to rural broadband.

The full podcast is here. You can also find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify,  SoundCloud and Google Play. Broadcast outlets may use the MP3 file. Please attribute information to NMPF.

NMPF Hails Funding Plan, Calls for Further COVID Relief

The National Milk Producers Federation today thanked Congress for sending bipartisan legislation to President Trump that extends government funding until Dec. 11 and urged Congress and the White House to reach agreement on another coronavirus relief package.

“We are glad Congress reached a government funding deal that provides important support to farmers and families who have weathered incredibly difficult challenges all year long,” said NMPF president and CEO Jim Mulhern. “This measure not only avoids a government shutdown; it also ensures that additional COVID-19 assistance can be provided as further needs arise and provides important nutrition assistance to families in need.”

The legislation passed by the House and Senate immediately replenishes the borrowing authority for USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation. The CCC funds farm bill initiatives, including the Dairy Margin Coverage Program, as well as the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, the second installment of which Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced earlier this month. Notably, it includes $8 billion in nutrition assistance and extends flexibility for school districts to make meals more affordable and accessible for students during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

NMPF hopes that, with the government funding debate resolved, Congress and the administration will now agree on another coronavirus relief bill. The House earlier this week released a revised version of its Heroes Act, which again includes important provisions such as a dairy product donation program that would help farmers and consumers. NMPF is continuing its push for additional, equitable support to all producers that reflects the losses they have suffered, no matter the size of the operation.

“The House and Senate both provide support for agriculture in their coronavirus relief proposals, and the House is reaffirming that support,” Mulhern said. “Congress and the administration need to bridge their differences and finalize a bipartisan plan that continues to provide needed disaster assistance to all dairy producers. The issues are challenging, but we believe policymakers are up to the task.”