In keeping with World Dairy Expo tradition, a press conference was held on the show grounds in Madison, Wisconsin, to announce a major industry initiative. This year, it was the introduction of the Dairy Security Act of 2011. The National Milk Producers Federation hosted the event to discuss the legislation introduced on Sept. 23 in the House of Representatives by Representatives Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Mike Simpson (R-ID). NMPF President and CEO Jerry Kozak outlined the changes incorporated in this act that were different from the originally proposed Foundation for the Future. (Click here to note these changes).

He added that the bill is now in Congress’ hands, which means more changes are possible.

Collin Peterson (D-MN)

Mike Simpson (R-ID), Jim Costa (D-CA), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Billy Long (R-MO), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Peter Welch (D-VT)

Latest action:
Referred to the Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry.


Senator introduces two new pieces of dairy reform legislation
The Dairy Advancement Act (S. 1682) was recently introduced by Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA). The proposal would allow dairy producers to continue to participate in the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program or to receive subsidized Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy (LGM-Dairy) revenue margin insurance.

The bill would repeal the Dairy Product Price Support program and make available low-interest loans to manufacturers to encourage investment in retrofitting their plants to adjust to global customers’ dairy product specifications.

It also directs the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a two-class system for classifying milk under federal milk marketing orders and increase the frequency of dairy price reporting. This legislation is supported by the Dairy Policy Action Coalition.

Robert Casey (D-PA)


Latest action:
Referred to Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee

The Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act of 2011 (S. 1640) was also recently introduced by Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pennsylvania). The bill reduces the number of milk classes under the federal milk marketing order system from the current four to two, and includes a supply management component.

It incorporates a national average cost of production – calculated by the USDA Economic Research Service and includes operating, allocated and overhead costs of production, plus an opportunity cost for unpaid labor – in the minimum price for Class II milk (all milk used for manufactured dairy products).

The cost of production will be determined by a survey of producers and associations of dairy producers in federal and state milk marketing orders, as well as those in unregulated areas. The USDA will then announce a minimum Class II milk price, no later than Nov. 1, for the following calendar year.

Minimum price adjustments will be made on April 1, July 1 and October 1 of each year. The Class II price, plus regional differentials, will determine the Class I price. This legislation is supported by Pro-Ag.

Robert Casey (D-PA)


Latest action:
Referred to Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee

NDPO’s dairy reform plan awaits Congressional sponsor
Dairy Industry Stabilization and Sustainability Act of 2011 (DISSA) is a draft legislation sent to all members of the House and Senate Agricultural Committees by the National Dairy Producers Organization board of directors.

The proposal establishes a minimum price to be paid for production history base (PHB) milk marketings, provides a regional average pay price for PHB milk when this price is above the minimum price, provides a new Federal Milk Market Order Class V price for milk marketings over PHB and manages the supply of milk used in the production of butter, nonfat dry milk powder and cheese through inventory control records and triggers (milk used for Class I and II products is not managed).

It would also change national milk quality standards and provide tariff oversight and limitations on imported dairy products and ingredients. PD


Latest action:
Not yet introduced as a bill

Several dairy organizations, cooperatives and companies have publicly released their support for or opposition to the Dairy Security Act of 2011.

Note: This list was compiled at press time. Additions and changes may have occurred since that time.

“We support the changes to the Foundation for the Future policy proposal, which provide producers more options to protect their margins and strengthen our ability to export. We applaud National Milk Producers Federation’s board and management for their efforts."

"Dairy producers have been discussing needed changes to dairy policy for more than two years. It is extremely gratifying to be part of this effort and to see this proposal – which so many have contributed to – be presented to Congress with such positive momentum,” says John Wilson, senior vice president, Dairy Farmers of America.

American Farm Bureau FederationContinental Dairy Products
Cooperative Milk Producers Association, Inc.
Darigold, Inc.
Dairy Farmers of America
Dairy Producers of New Mexico
Dairylea Cooperative Inc.
Farmers Cooperative Creamery
Foremost Farms USA
Holstein Association USA, Inc.
Idaho Dairyman’s Association
Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Lone Star Milk Producers
Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Association, Inc.
Michigan Milk Producers Association
Milk Producers Council
Missouri Dairy Association
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Milk Producers Federation
Northwest Dairy Association
Oregon Dairy Farmers Association
Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.
Select Milk Producers, Inc.
St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, Inc.
United Dairymen of Arizona
Upstate Niagara Cooperative
Washington State Dairy Federation
Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation

“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
International Dairy Foods Association
Dairy Policy Action Coalition
California Dairies, Inc.
National Taxpayers Union
Citizens Against Government Waste