Earlier this month, we reported on Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's dairy policy recommendations sent to Northeast congressional representatives. And while the state legislature is still wrangling with Rendell over the state budget, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution calling on Congress to support Rendell's suggested dairy title reforms.
By restructuring the federal order system, developing an insurance and grant program and establishing a forward contracting program, dairy producers will have more tools to make educated business decisions, notes Pennsylvania Ag Secretary Dennis Wolff.
The recommendations include:
- Restructure the Milk Income Loss Contract to pay a milk target price to all producers when the price of Class III products (e.g. hard and spreadable cheese, cottage cheese) drops below $12 per hundredweight;
- Remove the dairy price support program and develop a recourse loan program for processors and manufacturers;
- Explore the economic benefits to producers of establishing two classes of milk – a fluid class and a manufacturing class – to replace the current four class system;
- Establish a loan forgiveness program for those who graduate with a two- or four-year degree and elect to work in production dairy.
- The complete list of policy recommendations can be found at www.agriculture.state.pa.us under "What's New."