New York Farm Bureau Vice President Eric Ooms testified at last week's U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee hearing. After thanking Congress for recently directing $290 million to direct payments for dairy farmers, he said, "We strongly urge that those payments be expedited."
He also reiterated Farm Bureau's support for de-coupling the price of Class 1 or beverage class milk from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, "as fluid milk consumption is fairly inelastic and should not be tied to consumption of cheese or any other milk product for that matter."
Ooms, a dairy farmer from Columbia County, N.Y., also urged Congress to explore all avenues for federal action on the dairy crisis, including raising the Milk Income Loss Contract's rate of payment and the production cap to accommodate multi-family farms.
He also asked that imported milk products be treated with the same level of regulation as domestic products. Imported products should be paying the same $0.15 per hundredweight promotion fee that every U.S. dairy farmer is paying. "This is something that should not be delayed," he added.