December 31, 2012 by dairycarrie
I don’t usually get into politics here on my blog. However this is truly important and very urgent. I ask for your help in getting the word out. Even if you don’t agree or aren’t sure what this all means we ask for you to encourage your representatives in D.C. to vote no! This is not something that should be pushed through at the last minute without input or review by the people it will effect! Find your US Senator by clicking HERE. Find your US Congressman by clicking HERE. Thank you to my friend Sherry Bunting for writing this up for me to share with all of you. She has a much better understanding of the political side of milk production than I do.
As the Fiscal Cliff deadline approaches at midnight, Congress is in D.C. looking at how to avert it with some sort of fiscal package on taxes and spending cuts. Meanwhile, there has been talk about a so-called “dairy cliff” or “milk cliff.” First of all, if the farm bill or dairy portion is not passed by Jan. 1, it would take quite awhile for the 1949 law to actually kick in and experts dispute National Milk’s claims of a doubling in the supermarket price of milk. There is information at University of Wisconsin explaining that. Second, because members of Congress are getting hit over the head by media on the consumer milk price issue in addition to the fiscal cliff issue… The Senate is crafting a fiscal package to send to the House right now while the Senate is in quorum call. This package might include a farm bill extension that excludes dairy. Instead of extending current dairy programs until a new farm bill is negotiated next year, the Senate fiscal cliff package may incorporate the National Milk Producers Federation’s Dairy Security Act language into the fiscal package before it goes to the House. The House leadership is opposed to the Dairy Security Act (DSA), but they may be forced to accept it to keep from derailing a very important fiscal cliff package. It is essential to call senators and congressmen and women today if you oppose the Dairy Security Act because the DSA would give more government control of decisions made on individual dairy farms. Tell senators and members of Congress to treat dairy like the rest of the farm bill. Extend it without modification. Extend it without the wording of the Dairy Security Act so that new farm bill dairy policy can be openly debated in the light of day. Many dairy producers believe the DSA is bad for grassroots farmers and bad for consumers and bad for the economy. They do not want to give more control to the government especially since the current milk pricing system is government controlled to some degree and is quite dysfunctional and in need of true reforms. The Dairy Security Act was crafted by National Milk Producers Federation to include a form of margin insurance, a small portion at no cost except farmers pay an administration fee, and the remainder is available for dairy farmers to purchase from the government to insure a higher ‘margin.” If farmers sign up for this so-called insurance, they are also obligated to be financially penalized if they do not cut their production whenever the government-calculated margin formula hits certain triggers requiring dairy farmers to cut production. The penalties on production not cut would be collected from the milk checks of farmers and remitted to the government for the purpose of buying dairy products and giving them away. Economists have shown that this program has the potential to reduce the average price paid to farmers for their milk and that it will certainly reduce their net farm operating income. The most important reason for calling your Senator and Congressman or woman today is because the Dairy Security Act – if included in the fiscal cliff package the Senate is preparing at this moment – would make dairy farmers the only farmers in the United States of America who would have to sacrifice their freedom and their own farm decisions in order to participate in a crop-insurance-like program. No other commodity must give control of their business decisions and revenue to the government in order to access this type of insurance for their volatile markets.
Please share this link and ask your friends and family to call their representatives in Washington D.C.