Dairy Industry Emphasizing Unity

International Dairy Foods Association President and CEO Michael Dykes gave his annual state-of-the-industry speech to the Dairy Forum in California. One of his highlights focused on the unity between dairy producers and processors. The Hagstrom Report says that unity that has led to joint positions on the upcoming farm bill, as well as the Trump Administration’s strong advocacy for dairy in the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Jim Mulhern, National Milk Producers Federation CEO, says, “This is the first time my career that producers and processors have been united for a farm bill. It’s the first time in living memory that Congress won’t have to choose between one side or another. That’s a real accomplishment.” The goal of their collective efforts is to help make way for a new farm bill that will improve the Margin Protection Program for dairy farmers while enhancing risk management options for processors. At the same time, they’d like to improve nutrition and build domestic demand through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The House recently included provisions to help the nation’s dairy farmers in the disaster bill put together to aid hurricane victims. That bill is currently under consideration in the Senate.