Three Wisconsin congressmen who serve on the House Dairy Caucus met with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday to discuss the troubled dairy industry.
Rep. Tom Petri, who leads the 88-member panel, said the purpose of the meeting was to urge Secretary Vilsack and the Executive Branch to 'redouble their efforts to provide price stabilization programs, and to modernize the dairy price support program, which is totally inadequate to today's circumstances.'
"We have got together to explore ways and to be in a position to prod faster action from the Executive Branch to help people who are distressed in the dairy sector of our economy," Petri said in a statement.
Reps. Steve Kagen and Ron Kind were also at the meeting. Kind said Vilsack appears to be working to help support the nation's dairy farmers as they weather the recession. Kind says he also has some ideas of his own that he would like to implement.
"Based on my many discussions with family farmers back home, I've begun working on developing a national dairy policy to allow us to better plan for the ups and downs in the marketplace," Kind said. "I've also asked the Department of Agriculture to conduct a study on the relationship between milk prices at the source and retail level and the reasons for the disparity."
The Dairy Caucus was established last summer to help facilitate better interaction between elected officials and dairy producers from across the country.