Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin is calling on her colleagues to pass the pending farm bill when lawmakers return from their August recess and political conventions.
The Madison Democrat, who is running for U.S. Senate, says she has met with Wisconsin dairy farmers to discuss the plight of the dairy industry, which is suffering greatly from low milk prices, the impact of the continuing drought, and the need to pass a new farm bill before the current law expires on September 30.
"In 2009, milk prices dropped so low that many dairy farmers lost more than half of their income," she said. "Nationwide, dairy farmers lost more than $20 billion in equity. As a result, many Wisconsin dairy farmers have gone out of business, lost equity or gone deeply into debt."
Baldwin also stated that dairy farmers are now experiencing another drop in milk prices, combined with the escalating cost of feed brought on by the excessive drought.
"Congress must act now on a five-year bill. An extension of the current farm bill, which contains wasteful spending including direct payments to millionaires, is not a solution," said Baldwin. "Both the House and Senate bills contain serious reforms to our nation's dairy policy. These reforms need a full and thoughtful debate to ensure that we move in the right direction for Wisconsin dairy farmers."
She is running for the open Senate seat being vacated by Herb Kohl. Former Gov. Tommy Thompson is running for the same office on the Republican ticket.