The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to review current dairy policy and explore options to make it more effective for farmers. This hearing is a continuation of the committee’s series to examine all aspects of the next farm bill. Committee members heard from industry representatives who gave a general overview of the current state of the dairy industry and highlighted some of the challenges they are facing.
“While net farm income for the entire agricultural industry has fallen 50 percent over the past four years, the nation’s dairy industry is in a particularly unenviable position. After reaching record high milk prices in 2014, prices dropped drastically in 2016 from $24 per hundredweight to around $16 per hundredweight. The farm safety net is designed to offset bad times like these, but the underperformance of the Margin Protection Program left our dairy farmers with virtually no assistance. In addition, our farmers also face entry barriers from foreign competitors designed to keep out U.S. dairy products. As we begin crafting the next farm bill, we must keep in mind the unique nature of the dairy industry in order to create effective policies for our dairy farmers,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway.
Mr. Jim Mulhern, President and CEO, National Milk Producers Federation, Arlington, VA
Dr. Michael Dykes, President and CEO, International Dairy Foods Association, Washington, DC