The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said that a House Judiciary Committee vote requiring the Farm Bill’s dairy reform program to go through regular government rulemaking was a reasonable compromise to get the reform program approved.
“This is the latest attempt at compromise by Congressman Goodlatte on a program that has been approved twice by the House Agriculture Committee and that dairy farmers overwhelmingly support,” said NMPF President and CEO Jerry Kozak. “It’s time to end the divisiveness and approve reform of the federal dairy program. For that reason, we see today’s vote, which appears to accept that the Dairy Security Act (DSA) will become law, as a good compromise.”
Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) tried unsuccessfully to modify the DSA in the Agriculture Committee both this year and in 2012. That amendment would have eliminated the program’s market stabilization provisions, which give farmers the option of temporarily scaling back their milk production or contributing a portion of their milk check to purchase dairy products to feed the needy in order to bring supplies more in line with demand.
“Having lost in the Agriculture Committee, Chairman Goodlatte brought up a new amendment in the committee he chairs,” Kozak said.
It calls for interim federal rules for the market stabilization aspects of the DSA nine months after enactment and final regulations in 21 months.
“While this is not the approach we chose, we see it as acceptable,” Kozak said. “The important thing is to get dairy reform enacted for the nation’s milk producers. If it requires this amendment to do that, we can live with that.”