WASHINGTON, Oct. 13- The Dairy Advancement Act, a bill introduced yesterday to address the volatility of the nation’s dairy market, is supported by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).
The proposed legislation, sponsored by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), includes the repeal of the Dairy Product Price Support Program and establishes a two-class system under the federal milk marketing orders, which it divides into fluid milk and manufactured products.
The Dairy Advancement Act would give dairy producers a choice in risk management tools by allowing them to continue to participate in the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program or to receive support for Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy (LGM-Dairy) program.
“The bill also makes available low interest loans to manufacturers so they can retrofit their plants to help adjust to changes to the price support system and shift their focus to products that have broader demand,” according to Casey’s statement.
This bill adheres to some of the requests from dairy manufacturers, unlike the bipartisan Dairy Security Act of 2011, supported by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and sponsored by Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho).
Connie Tipton, IDFA President and CEO, issued her support of the Casey bill, saying it “offers a safety net without strings attached.”
“The bill will not hamstring our industry with a new government program to limit milk supply as does the controversial Peterson proposal,” Tipton said. “It sets no limits on the ability of dairy farmers to grow their businesses and offers a safety net without strings attached.”
Tipton added that she hopes to continue working with Casey to refine the bill, but praised his inclusion of risk management tools, “particularly his call for an expansion of the Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy program.”
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