Delegates to National Farmers Union's 104th anniversary convention this week in Denver, pushed for stronger U.S. dairy policies. NFU President Tom Buis says now is not the time to jeopardize the future of American family dairy farmers.
"Our dairy producers are facing many challenges. A dilapidated safety net, predicted market lows, increased imports and efforts to change the definition of milk adversely affect dairy producers," Buis says. "And now, it is unfortunate to see the massive cuts to the dairy industry that are being proposed in the president's budget."
Delegates approved the following proposals:
- Reject President Bush's FY2007 budget proposal of new taxes and reduced safety-net for dairy farmers:
- Fully restore the MILC program funding levels;
- Pass the Milk Import Tariff Equity Act to address rapidly increasing imports of MPC and other protein concentrates that are distorting the U.S. milk market;
- Reject the Food and Drug Administration's efforts to change the definition of milk for cheese and ice cream products that would reduce the nutritional value of those products and have a devastating economic impact on American dairy producers;
- Reject efforts to increase the manufacturer's make-allowance. An increased allowance will reduce producer income, particularly at a time when the producer prices are declining;
- Index make allowances to commodity prices;
- Create a transparent pricing mechanism, including cost of production, to replace the inadequate CME pricing system.
"Consumers and dairy producers should support these actions because they insure consistency in food and farm policies," Buis says . "Our dairy farmers are proud of what they produce, and they want federal policies that make sense for everyone because they are based on fairness and safety."