NMPF opposes Goodlatte-Scott amendment

Not surprisingly, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) issued a statement opposing the Goodlatte/Scott amendment introduced on Monday, raising concerns House leadership may be pressuring Republican members to vote for the amendment.

U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (D-Va.) and others introduced the Goodlatte/D. Scott/C. Collins/Moran/Duffy/Polis/Coffman/Meeks/Issa/DeGette/Sessions Amendment to the House version of the 2013 Farm Bill (H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013). The amendment strikes the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP), part of the Dairy Security Act  included in the base text of the FARRM Act, replacing it with a stand-alone margin insurance program for dairy producers. 

“The nation’s dairy farmers strongly oppose efforts in the House to gut the farm bill’s dairy title through an amendment offered by Reps. Goodlatte and Scott,” said Jerry Kozak, NMPF president and CEO. “We urge members of the House to reject this amendment, which would undo four years of hard work to develop a new, cost-effective safety net for America’s dairy farmers.

“We understand that the House leadership is pressuring members to vote in favor of the Goodlatte-Scott amendment,” he continued. “But if the debate on the farm bill’s dairy title is about what the best policy is for taxpayers and consumers, as well as farmers, then we have the best case to make to Congress.

“The Dairy Security Act, already approved twice by the House Agriculture Committee, and contained in the Senate-passed farm bill, creates a voluntary margin insurance program,” Kozak explained. “The costs for this are shared by farmers and mitigated by the program’s market stabilization element. By eliminating the market stabilization component, the Goodlatte-Scott approach removes the cost control mechanism from this measure, greatly increasing government and taxpayer costs.”

 “The Dairy Security Act is more in tune with where Congress wants to go with farm policy, in terms of limiting taxpayer costs and minimizing any impact on consumers,” he said. “In fact, it is dairy farmers who are urging Congress to eliminate three existing farm programs. It’s dairy farmers who have expressed genuine interest in limiting the costs of farm programs, unlike processors, who have no real stake in limiting  government costs, and stand to benefit by creating a surplus of milk that puts farm families out of business. Congress needs to side with farmers and their families, not corporate processors, in the debate about the future of farm policy.”