Here a few news items summarized for you to start the third week of May.

Devaney kimmi
Editor and Podcast Host / Progressive Dairy
Lee karen
Managing Editor / Progressive Dairy

House Agriculture Committee releases draft farm bill text

On May 17, House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-Pennsylvania) released The Farm, Food and National Security Act of 2024 – another step forward for the 2024 Farm Bill.

Here is an overview of dairy-related programs included in the draft of this bill:

  • Increases the cap on Tier I coverage for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program to 6 million pounds
  • Provides an opportunity to update production history for DMC
  • Provides a 25% discount on DMC premiums for operations that enroll in coverage for the life of the 2024 Farm Bill
  • Mandates biennial cost surveys to ensure make allowances accurately reflect the cost of manufacturing dairy products
  • Restores the “higher-of” formula for the calculation of the price of Class I (fluid) milk until such time that updates to a Federal Milk Marketing Order are ratified
  • Ensures the Dairy Forward Pricing Program does not expire
  • Expands the reach, funding and impact of dairy incentive and school meals programs by including full-fat fluid milk, flavored or unflavored
  • Includes the Safeguarding American Value-added Exports (SAVE) Act – a bipartisan measure to protect American producers’ ability to use common terms like “Parmesan,” “feta” and “Asiago” globally.

The House Agriculture Committee is scheduled to mark up the bill on May 23. The agriculture committee in the Senate will debate its own proposal before both bills will be passed to a joint conference committee to develop a single bill for Congress to consider.

PFAS designated as hazardous substances

The U.S. EPA released a final rule that designates two widely used per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) – as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund.


This final action is based on significant scientific evidence that these substances, when released into the environment, may present a substantial danger to public health or welfare or the environment. PFOA and PFOS can accumulate and persist in the human body for long periods of time, and evidence from scientific studies demonstrate that exposure to PFOA and PFOS is linked to cancers, impacts to the liver and heart, and immune and developmental damage to infants and children.

This final action addresses PFOA and PFOS contamination by enabling investigation and cleanup of these harmful chemicals and ensuring that leaks, spills and other releases are reported. This action builds on the recently finalized standards to protect people and communities from PFAS contamination in drinking water.

In addition to the final rule, the EPA is issuing a separate CERCLA enforcement discretion policy that makes clear that the EPA will focus enforcement on parties who significantly contributed to the release of PFAS chemicals into the environment, including parties that have manufactured PFAS or used PFAS in the manufacturing process, federal facilities and other industrial parties.

Under the rule, entities are required to immediately report releases of PFOA and PFOS that meet or exceed the reportable quantity of 1 pound within a 24-hour period to the National Response Center, state, tribal and local emergency responders. The designation also enables the agency to use one of its strongest enforcement tools to compel polluters to pay for or conduct investigations and cleanup, rather than taxpayers.

Federal entities that transfer or sell their property must provide notice about the storage, release, or disposal of PFOA or PFOS on the property and guarantee that contamination has been cleaned up or, if needed, that additional cleanup will occur in the future. It will also lead the Department of Transportation to list and regulate these substances as hazardous materials under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.

The EPA will published the final rule in the Federal Register on May 8, and it will be effective 60 days later.

NMPF receives grants for disease preparedness

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) was awarded funding from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP) to support two projects advancing dairy cattle disease preparedness.

The first award will expand on USDA funding NMPF received in 2021 to build the FARM Biosecurity Program. Biosecurity resources developed from the initial 2021 USDA funding are currently being used to respond to the H5N1 bird flu animal health issue. This new funding will expand educational resources and training opportunities for producers, cooperatives, state animal health officials and FARM Program evaluators; update the Secure Milk Supply Plan guidance; and further develop the capabilities of the FARM Biosecurity database.

The second award will bring together stakeholders including dairy cooperatives, milk haulers, milk testing labs, state and federal animal health officials, and National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) lab directors to conduct a gap analysis and create a report outlining current capabilities and guidance for industry and policymakers to implement a foot-and-mouth disease diagnostic assay using bulk tank milk samples to provide herd-level disease surveillance in the event of an outbreak.

The grants are funded by the 2018 Farm Bill as part of an overall strategy to help prevent animal pests and diseases from entering the U.S. and reduce the spread and impact of potential disease incursions through advance planning and preparedness.