IDFA, tax group oppose dairy plans

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) formally opposed a 2012 Farm Bill proposal, introduced by U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), which includes dairy policy reforms supported by many dairy farmer organizations.


IDFA expressed opposition to the Rural Economic Farm and Ranch Sustainability and Hunger Act of 2011 (S. 1658 and H.R. 3111) because the dairy processor organization said the dairy provisions would limit the U.S. milk supply, raise milk prices and fail to reform the antiquated federal milk pricing system. IDFA supports proposals that would expand existing risk management programs for dairy, such as a stand-alone margin insurance program, and allow the marketplace to determine milk prices.


Americans for Tax Reform has joined IDFA's efforts to urge legislators to oppose the Dairy Security Act of 2011, introduced in the U.S. House last month by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). In a letter sent last Friday to the House Agriculture Committee, ATR President Grover Norquist wrote, "American dairy policies require reform, not a tweaked continuation of the government’s intrusive role in the market that increases consumer costs, sets prices, spends millions in taxpayer dollars and enacts what is effectively a new tax on farmers."


The letter also makes clear that any reform of dairy policies should include the elimination of the Federal Milk Market Order system, a move IDFA continues to endorse. The Peterson bill would perpetuate the complex government pricing system and penalize producers who want insurance by forcing them to accept mandatory supply controls.

IDFA has long opposed milk pricing regulations that increase the already significant regulatory burden on the dairy industry, put more pressure on declining milk sales and increase costs for consumers and many government nutrition and feeding programs, which are already stretched to serve Americans who are struggling to feed their families.


Last week IDFA launched its "Out of My Milk" campaign to educate consumers about the negative economic impact of the federal milk pricing system. The campaign featured print and television ads in the Washington, D.C., area, and a website for consumers, According to IDFA, consumers have responded, sending hundreds of letters to congressional offices telling government to "get out of my milk."