Dairy Security Act campaigns pick up the pacePrint
With the potential for a 2012 Farm Bill proposal inching closer, competing campaigns – opposing and promoting the Dairy Security Act (H.R. 3062) as potential dairy policy in the 2012 Farm Bill – ratcheted up a bit.
Opposed to the bill, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) unveiled analysis by conservative ”think tank” American Enterprise Institute, showing “supply management” initiatives contained in the proposal would be detrimental to U.S. interests. The paper, “Market Structure and Competition in the U.S. Food Industries: Implications for the 2012 Farm Bill,” concludes a dairy supply-management program proposal would increase consumer prices, increase milk production costs and diminish the competitiveness of U.S. dairy products in the world market.
The report was written by Richard Sexton, professor of agricultural and resource economics at the University of California-Davis, and Tina Saitone, a post-doctoral economics scholar at the university. AEI, based in Washington, D.C., focuses on free markets and smaller government.
The paper examines the potential impact of several current initiatives designed to expand regulation of the food industries with the goal of increasing competition and the commodity prices farmers receive. According to AEI, many of these initiatives will probably have the unintended consequences of raising consumer prices and lowering farmers’ prices while reducing the quality and variety of food products available to consumers.
“The American Enterprise Institute is another in a growing list of think tanks that are opposed to the Peterson bill," said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president for legislative affairs and economic policy. “They obviously share our concern about policies that will limit our ability to create jobs and to allow producers to grow their businesses."
Meanwhile, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), the dairy producer cooperative organization which created the Foundation for the Future program, the basis for the Dairy Security Act, is stepping up a grassroots campaign, urging dairy producers to contact their lawmakers via the organization’s Dairy G.R.E.A.T. website and urge inclusion of the plan in the 2012 Farm Bill. According to NMPF, the package of proposed dairy policy programs will dramatically improve the traditional approach to dairy policy, fostering a more economically-viable and secure future for dairy producers.
As part of the efforts to garner support for the Dairy Security Act, NMPF has prepared a series of flyers highlighting different aspects of the legislation. Each flyer is posted online for general use after it has been sent to Capitol Hill. They include: