IDFA’s Tipton sends dairy policy message to Michigan

Applying political pressure in the Senate Ag Committee chair's home state of Michigan, International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) president and CEO Connie Tipton authored a newspaper guest column charging dairy policy contained in the Senate Farm Bill would raise milk prices for families and lower-income consumers.

Tipton's column appeared in the Sunday edition of the The Oakland (Michigan) Press, which reaches 71,000 readers in cities to the north and west of Detroit. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow is a Michigan Democrat and is pushing for approval of the Senate Ag Committee’s Farm Bill proposal, which includes the Dairy Market Stabilization program.

“Cleverly guised as the Dairy Market Stabilization Program, this provision included in the Senate version of the Farm Bill, is designed to increase the cost of milk by periodically imposing limits on the amount of milk dairy farmers can sell — and worse, penalizing them if they produce more than the allotted amount,” Tipton wrote. “By no mistake, this would increase the price of milk, which would affect us all, but disproportionally wallop families and lower-income consumers like the elderly who spend a higher percentage of their incomes on food than the average consumer. I think we can all agree that the last thing this country needs is higher prices on staple food items, especially the kind that keep bones strong for young and old bodies alike.”

In her column, Tipton recommended support of the House-passed version of the Farm Bill, which “would offer dairy farmers an effective net without forcing higher prices on consumers.” She noted the House version was supported by Michigan U.S. Reps. John Dingell, John Conyers, Fred Upton and Mike Rogers.

To see the column, visit www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2013/08/25/opinion/doc5213b7a7810e0557840191.txt.