ARLINGTON, VA – Between the USDA Federal Milk Marketing Order Modernization hearing and efforts to pass a new farm bill, dairy’s policy plate is full this fall – with plenty of opportunities for different parts of the industry to argue over what’s their favorite dish.
That’s to be expected, and disagreement along doesn’t forestall progress, said Peter Vitaliano, NMPF vice president for economic policy and market research, in a Dairy Defined podcast released today. “There’s always been contention in this industry, and as an economist, I can appreciate that, because there are genuine economic interests at stake,” he said. “So certain conflicts are inevitable, and they tend to come out in an issue such as federal orders.”
But that said, NMPF’s proposal for comprehensive modernization remains the strongest path forward, as shown in hearing testimony. “It’s almost two years now since National Milk began crafting a very carefully balanced proposal that is in the interest of dairy farmers and their marketing cooperatives,” he said. “I think we’re doing a great job of presenting our case at this hearing. That’s the whole purpose of the hearing, to make our case in great detail based on factual evidence for our proposal, which our board of directors approved unanimously.”
Vitaliano is joined on the podcast by Executive Vice president for Government Relations Paul Bleiberg, discussing the likely path forward for yet-to-be-passed farm bill, a twice-a-decade reauthorization of USDA programs that expired Sept. 30.