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Idaho Dairy Focus - Jan 2014

~The Idaho Dairymen’s Association (IDA) was established to continue to
develop and sustain an economically viable Idaho Dairy Industry that works
together to achieve success in the domestic and global marketplace in
meeting the needs of the Idaho dairy farm families.
January 2014
Jeanie Wolverton is a dairy producer from Wendell Idaho
who served on the Board of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association
and did not seek re‐election. She submitted the following
piece for publication in the Idaho Dairy Focus. Although
written in November this is the first Focus to be
published since receiving the article.
November is one of my favorite times of the year. With
fall in full swing, and Thanksgiving celebrations with loved
ones to be shared, I feel an overwhelming sense of
thankfulness and gratitude.
Bob and Rick Naerebout, Karianne Fallow, and the staff at
the United Dairymen of Idaho, along with the Board of
the IDA, and IDPC work very hard to ensure our industry
continues to be strong. They are dedicated to protect,
promote and continually aid in the furthering growth, and
sustainability for our industry.
As most of you know, I had the honor and privilege to
serve on the IDA board for the last year. I was able to
receive the first‐hand experience of what the IDA and
IDPC’s roles are in the UDI. I also saw with my own eyes
how hard Bob, Rick, Karianne, and the staff at the UDI
work on our behalf. They not only put their heart and
souls into their work, they are truly passionate for our
industry. They continuously educate themselves in the
issues that are facing our state and nation and make sure
our dairy farms are protected, and our product is promoted,
both domestically and globally.
(Continued on page 4)
Page 2 Report From D.C. by Charlie Garrison Page 5 2013 Hardly ‘unlucky’ for dairy producers
Page 3 Keeping up with Congressman Simpson Page 6 Upcoming Meetings
Page 4 Upcoming NASS Survey
With Thanks
By Jeannie Wolverton
2014 Idaho Legislative Session
The 2nd Regular Session of the 62nd Idaho Legislature will
begin January 6th. With legislators facing a Primary Election
on May 20, 2014, there will be a strong desire on
their part to end the Session in a timely manner so they
can work on their re‐election campaign. The Session
should end by late March.
IDA is looking at legislation to address some key concerns
that have been identified by our dairy producers. One of
those concerns is the interpretation of what is allowed to
be sales tax exempt under the current statute. Several
producers have expressed frustration when purchasing
products that are required to meet the standards of federal
laws regarding dairy sanitation, but those same
products are not receiving the state sales tax exemption.
In addition, we will be updating the state statutes that
governs sanitation, inspections and marketing.
We will also be addressing possible dairy related statute
changes needed to prepare for the potential of Idaho receiving
Primacy from the EPA to enforce the Clean Water
Page 2 Idaho Dairy Focus ‐ January 2014
Federal Dairy Issues Update
By Charlie Garrrison
The First Session of the 113th Congress is winding to a
close ahead of the holidays and hopes are high for a new
farm bill soon after their return in January. Those of us in
agriculture also hold out hope for action on immigration
reform sometime during the first half of next year. What
did get done in the late days of the session was a modest
bipartisan budget agreement on funding the federal government
for the next two years. It’s the bipartisanship
that led to the budget agreement that has raised expectations
for a New Year’s resolution of both the farm bill and
immigration reform in 2014.
Without a doubt, immigration reform has become the
most important federal issue for Idaho dairy farmers.
Access to a legal, stable year‐round workforce is essential
to dairy farmers everywhere. And since studies show that
each farm job sustains 3‐4 jobs upstream and downstream
from the farm, availability of farm labor should be
a top bipartisan priority for politicians seeking to revitalize
the U.S. economy.
The U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration
reform bill more than six months ago. The bill includes
provisions that work for dairy producers like legalization
of the current workforce without a touchback provision,
an accelerated path to legal permanent resident status as
an incentive to remain working in agriculture for at least
another five years, access to year‐round workers, and an
effective program for obtaining legal new workers. That
bill isn’t perfect, it was the result of a negotiation after all,
but it checks the boxes dairy farmers need on reform.
The U.S. House of Representatives, on the other hand,
has preferred to take a piecemeal approach. The Judiciary
Committee, with jurisdiction on the issue, has passed
a handful of bills, including one dealing with agriculture.
One thing everybody with year‐round labor needs agrees
on is that the committee bill needs to be improved before
it moves to the floor for a vote. The Agriculture Workforce
Coalition, of which IDA is a member, continues
working with House staff to get a bill that is effective for
dairy farmers and addresses your need for legal, stable,
year‐round labor with a high priority on being able to retain
your current workforce. The political stars will need
to properly align for immigration reform to happen in
2014. IDA is working on this issue with the assumption
that the best thing we in agriculture can do is be prepared
with effective proposals that unify us if House leadership
decides to take up the issue.
On the farm bill, the House and Senate Conference Committee
negotiators continue working to iron out the differences
between the two bills passed by the respective bodies. All
indications are that most issues have been resolved, the projected
budget impact is close to expectations and that a new
farm bill by the end of January is in sight. While the dairy
farm economy looks as good as it has in a few years, we all
know that can change. IDA has been a leader in convincing
the Congress that a completely irrelevant support price program
at $9.90/cwt and the discriminatory MILC program
must both be replaced. It seems certain that margin insurance
will be included in the farm bill conference report. The
question is whether the stabilization program makes it
through the conference. Dairy farmers shouldn’t have to
wait too much longer to find out.
IDA is also working on several other issues affecting dairy
farmers. The potential for broad tax reform next year has
drawn some scrutiny in the Congress of provisions like the
exemption from revenue thresholds that currently allow
most farm corporations to use cash accounting as a business
planning tool. Your association is working with several other
agriculture groups in Washington, D.C. to keep that provision
of the tax code available to Idaho dairy farmers, regardless
of how the families who own them have structured their
Dairy farmers will also find international trade on the agenda
for 2014. The U.S. dairy industry has already exceeded last
year’s record total for dairy exports in just the first 10
months of this year. While the Obama administration made
a push to complete a huge trade agreement with several
Pacific‐rim countries known as the Trans Pacific Partnership
(TPP), finishing that pact has slid into 2014. With New Zealand,
Canada and Japan all at the table, the implications for
U.S. dairy farmers could hardly be bigger.
Talks have also started on a free trade agreement with the
European Union. In addition, the Congress will be called on
to ratify any completed agreements and that will take authorization
of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), formerly
known as “Fast Track.” IDA will continue to educate members
of the state’s congressional delegation on how trade
agreements will affect Idaho dairy farmers.
On the environmental front, the increase in federal government
regulations is a primary concern. IDA is engaged in
(Continued on page 3)
Idaho Dairy Focus ‐ January 2014 Page 3
funds all functions of the U.S. Department of Energy, including
the Idaho National Laboratory’s research and
cleanup operations.
The Subcommittee’s primary jurisdiction includes the following
federal agencies:
‐Department of Energy, including Idaho National Laboratory
and Bonneville Power Administration
‐National Nuclear Security Administration
‐U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
‐Bureau of Reclamation
‐Nuclear Regulatory Commission
‐Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
‐Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board
“Given the importance of this subcommittee to Idaho and
its daily impact on my constituents, I am honored and
pleased to have the opportunity to be its new Chairman,”
said Simpson. “The Idaho delegation has a strong history
of involvement in federal issues related to energy development
and water infrastructure, and in particular nuclear
energy. This new assignment gives me the opportunity
to expand our involvement in these issues and make
sure the concerns of our state and region are heard and
“Whether it’s the cleanup of sites like INL, the maintenance
of our nation’s nuclear weapons, or the many vital
water projects across the Western United States, the Energy
and Water Subcommittee’s work touches almost
every community in Idaho and across the country,” said
Simpson will remain a member of the subcommittee of
Interior and the Environment as well as the subcommittee
of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education.
Keeping Up with Congressman Simpson
Congressman Mike Simpson from Idaho’s second District
is a stalwart supporter of Idaho Agriculture. Below is a
small portion of how diligently he is working on Idaho’s
Simpson’s Statement on EPA’s New Rule on Non‐
Navigable Waters: Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, a
member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior
and Environment, issued the following statement on the
Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed
rule which would establish federal regulatory jurisdiction
over non‐navigable streams, wetlands and other water
resources. Currently, non‐navigable waters are regulated
by the states.
“Like many people who have watched this issue carefully,
I’m very concerned about this proposed rule. Most farmers
and ranchers I talk to are scared to death about the
possibility that the Environmental Protection Agency
would be able to regulate their irrigation ditches, drainage
ponds, and even groundwater, and I understand
why,” said Simpson. “In the West, water is critical to our
way of life. Allowing the federal government to claim
jurisdiction over state waters would have a devastating
impact on rural communities throughout our state and
the food supply throughout our nation. For that reason
and others, I have included language in the FY14 House
Interior Appropriations bill that will prevent any attempt
by the EPA to claim additional jurisdiction over state waters
and increase its already excessive authority over
Western farmers, families, and businesses.”
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson has been appointed
as Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee
on Energy and Water Development. The subcommittee
opposition to the EPA’s proposal to vastly expand its jurisdiction
over regulation of the nation’s waterways. IDA
has also reached out to other dairy organizations nationwide
over environmental challenges facing producers in
neighboring states. These challenges will set precedent
for regulation and litigation regarding on‐farm nutrient
management practices and it is critical to the entire U.S.
dairy industry that these issues are resolved both properly
and sooner rather than later.
IDA also continues working on your behalf to reduce the
(Federal Dairy Issues - Continued from page 2) impact federal government mandates for the use of corn
ethanol have on your business. The EPA’s proposed decision
to roll back the increase in the amount of ethanol
required to be blended into gasoline in 2014 is a good
first step but more action is needed. Legislation has been
introduced in the U.S. Senate to eliminate the federal
mandate for corn ethanol. Senator Risch is an original
cosponsor and IDA has reached out to Senator Crapo for
his support as well. Your association is also working with
Representatives Simpson and Labrador on efforts to focus
support in the House to reduce or eliminate the corn
ethanol mandate.
Page 4
Idaho Dairy Focus ‐ January 2014
Some Idaho dairies may be contacted in January to participate
in the National Animal Health Monitoring System
(NAHMS) Dairy 2014 study, the sixth USDA Veterinary
Services study of dairy operations. The study tracks industry
trends since 1991 and looks at current cattle
health and management issues. National Agricultural Statistics
Services (NASS) representatives will conduct interviews
with 161 randomly selected Idaho producers. Sixteen
other large dairy states are included in the study.
Participants agreeing to continue will be visited by USDA
Veterinary Services (VS) representatives between March
and May for another questionnaire which focuses more
on health issues. Milk and fecal sampling will be offered.
In addition, producers will be able to participate an indepth
calf component which focuses on health and
growth of heifer calves from birth to weaning and includes
bovine viral diarrhea ear notch testing.
To develop the study focus, NAHMS asked dairy producers,
industry stakeholders, academics, and government
officials to provide input and define the information
needs of the dairy industry. The six objectives identified
are: 1) to describe trends in dairy cattle health and management
practices; 2) to describe management practices
and production measures related to animal welfare; 3) to
estimate the prevalence of lameness and evaluate management
factors associated with lameness; 4) to evaluate
calf health from birth to weaning, 5) to describe antibiotic
use and residue prevention methods used to ensure milk
and meat quality, 6) and to estimate the prevalence and
antimicrobial resistance patterns of select foodborne
Participation is voluntary and all information and results
will be kept confidential. Reports and biological test results
will be returned to the participants. For any questions,
contact Bill Sigrist, Idaho NASS, at 208‐334‐1507;
Dr. Mary Kay Tinker, Idaho VS, at 208‐373‐1620; or Dr.
Lori McCoy‐Harrison, Idaho VS, at 208‐670‐9100. We
hope you will participate; this study should provide national,
statistically valid, and science based information
important to the dairy industry.
IDA Encourages Membership to Participate in Upcoming NASS Survey
Idaho, along with other states in our region, is experiencing
tremendous pressure from regulatory agencies and
other environmental groups. For example, this spring a
group of dairy farms in our valley were chosen for EPA
inspections. My family dairy was one of them.
When I arrived at work that spring day, I was met by a
group of EPA agents. They presented their badges to me
outside my office, and said they were going to do an inspection.
I told them I needed a moment to talk to my
partners, and that I would like them to wait outside. I immediately
phoned Bob Naerebout. I did not know my
rights as a producer faced with these EPA agents. Bob
instructed me with my rights and counseled me in the
best way to deal with the situation that presented itself.
Rick Naerebout, immediately drove out to our farm and
supported my partner Jerimy Craig, our General Manager
of operations, Jason Anderson and myself with the entire
inspection. Rick supported many other dairy producers
who were chosen for the inspections that week as well.
(With Thanks—Continued from page 1)
With the complete support of Bob and Rick, the inspection
went well. I am so thankful for these dedicated men,
who are knowledgeable in every aspect of our industry’s
rights, rules, and regulations.
As most of you know, the EPA is coming against several
family dairy farms in Yakima Washington. The issues that
these fellow dairy producers are facing are too close to
home. I am honored that the IDA is helping to support
these men and women whose livelihoods are being jeopardized.
I hope that other Dairy Coops, Processors, and
individuals, both locally and around the nation will also
aid in helping these dairy farmers.
I am very grateful for the men and women who work so
hard in our industry. Thank you Bob, Rick, Karianne and
the staff at the UDI, and the board members who dedicate
their time, and use wisdom and discernment in making
decisions on our behalf. I am so honored to have all
of you working to protect and promote our Idaho dairy
Page 5
Western superstition has made 13 an unlucky number.
From Judas being 13th on the guest list for the Last Supper
to the problems of the Apollo 13 space mission, dealing
with 13 of anything has long been recognized as an
omen steeped in misfortune. Just do a Google search if
you want to see how many people consider this past year
– 2013 – to be an ‘unlucky’ one. From my perspective,
however, it’s been a great year ‐ especially for dairy producers.
Now any given year will come with its own set of challenges
for the nation’s dairy producers – that is just a fact
of this business. And this year had some special ones in
store for Idaho producers. Continued poor profit margins
for many earlier in the year, exceedingly hot weather in
August and September, a lack of immigration reform, forest
fires, and, overall, weak milk production as we would
like to see out of such an important dairy state all contributed
to a gut‐pummelling sense of uncertainty in 2013.
But as the year ends, it is time to focus some attention on
the positives. It’s the ‘good things’ going on in the dairy
industry that can quell even the most primal natural urge
to look at the downside of the business. Here are a few
of the good things I see:
The leader of the “pro” column is the strong export demand
the U.S. dairy industry has enjoyed in 2013. Demand
for quality dairy products from the Middle East and
China continue to impress the U.S. dairy industry. According
to the U.S. Dairy Export Council, “the value of U.S.
dairy exports already topped the full‐year total for 2012
and established a new high. January‐October exports
were valued at $5.54 billion, compared with $5.12 billion
in all of 2012. At the current pace, U.S. exports will top
$6.6 billion this year, up close to 30% from the 2012 total.”
Export business doesn’t happen on a whim. Once a need
is recognized, the conscious effort of both producers and
processors is needed to create quality, reliability, and
value, which leads to an excellent reputation for U.S.
dairy products. It is this export business that has largely
responsible for increased dairy farm profitability in the
second half of 2013.
2013 hardly ‘unlucky’ for
dairy producers
By Dave Kurzawski
Idaho Dairy Focus ‐ January 2014
Next “in the pro” column is to remember the benefits that
come along with more reasonable feed prices. Short crops are
said to have long tails because: “Men think in herds; it will be
seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their
senses slowly, and one by one.” While bean meal prices and
related feeds remain high and forage prices look to remain high
heading into 2014, corn prices have dropped more than $3/bu.
in 2013 taking a chunk out of the cost profile. Corn prices have
taken a long time to drop to more palatable levels, but corn
prices will likely stay low well into 2014.
Good dairy demand, a stable milk supply, and cheaper feed together
signal producers, including those in Idaho, to make more
milk. And more milk means lower prices, right? At some point
– the answer would be yes. But the final stop on my admittedly
short list of “pros” to dairying in 2013 is that the chasm between
global opportunity and on‐farm economics is coming to a
head. To help illustrate my point, I’d like to reiterate something
I wrote for this publication 18 months ago – in the July 2012
When we merge a dwindling milk supply with a growing hunger
for dairy products globally, the risk for dairy prices is not down
– but up. And while we’ve seen a significant increase in prices
already due to weather, the stage is fundamentally set for even
higher prices almost regardless of what happens to corn prices
as we roll into 2013. But don’t let that stop you from bringing
profit home by hedging.
Those leaning on cheaper feed prices to automatically equate
to more milk production must not lean too hard. The past year
seems to follow 2012 in that producer and lending communities
remain largely concerned with repair and stabilization than
growth. There continues to be little in the way of widespread
capital investment in new dairy farm construction or expansion.
Moreover, inexpensive heifers have kept heifer programs off
the books of most dairies pitting dairy producers, particularly in
the West, against the beef ranchers bidding for new animals.
How is that going to work at $2,000 a head?
Dairies in Idaho and nationwide are getting signals to make
more milk – they’re just ignoring them as 2013 winds down.
That could change in the first half of 2014, but for now it looks
like just another reason to be thankful for the good things that
came out of dairy in 2013.
195 River Vista Place
Suite 308
Twin Falls, Idaho 83301
Board of Directors ‐ United Dairymen of Idaho
Tony VanderHulst—President, IDA; Co‐Chair, UDI Lou Murgoitio—Vice President, IDA Adrian Kroes—Treasurer, IDA
Tom Dorsey—Chairman, IDPC; Co‐Chair, UDI Bob Naerebout—Executive Director, IDA Karianne Fallow—CEO, IDPC
John Brubaker Mike Siegersma Brian Esplin Bernie Teunissen Pete Wiersma
Arie Roeloffs Dave Veenhouwer Steve Ballard Dan Gilbert Willie Bokma
Tony DeWit Kim Korn Lou Murgoitio Greg Andersen
January 6th 2014 Idaho Legislative Session Convenes
January 14th IRC/IDEAL Committee Meeting
January 21‐23rd Idaho Water Users Association Annual Meeting
January 26‐29th IDFA Annual Meeting
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