Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and David Scott (D-Ga.) released a statement after the Goodlatte-Scott Dairy Amendment failed today in the House Committee on Agriculture's markup of the FARRM Act, commonly referred to as the Farm Bill. The amendment would have struck the dairy market stabilization program that is included in the base text of the FARRM Act and replaced it with a stand-alone margin insurance program for dairy producers.
"The outcome of today's vote in the Agriculture Committee on this amendment was disappointing. Supply management is antithetical to the future growth of the dairy industry. Government bureaucracy should not control the size of your herd. A supply control program that will directly intervene in markets and increase milk prices will ultimately hurt dairy producers and consumers as well as dairy food manufacturers by stifling industry growth. This program is contrary to the reforms already in the Farm Bill.
"There is no farm district Member who disagrees on the need for fundamental reform of our dairy programs. The reforms in our amendment give farmers the necessary tools to manage their risk without requiring them to participate in yet another government program. It also clearly accounts for, and allows for, growth in dairy farms. We will continue our efforts to include this bipartisan alternative in the Farm Bill and reform dairy policy when the legislation is addressed on the House floor."
Summary of the Goodlatte-Scott Amendment
The Amendment would have removed Subtitle D PART I--"DAIRY PRODUCER MARGIN PROTECTION AND DAIRY MARKET STABILIZATION PROGRAMS" and replaces it with a new "Dairy Producer Margin Insurance Program". The amendment provides dairy producers with the option to annually enroll in a new margin insurance program at levels of $4.00 and up to $8.00 in increments of 50 cents. Based on the highest annual of three previous calendar years of their milk marketings, dairy producers are allowed to elect their coverage level and the percentage of coverage up to 80 percent at the start of the program and annually thereafter. Dairy producers are also allowed to update their production history annually. The Secretary is required to make payments to dairy producers enrolled in the program whenever the actual dairy producer margin drops below $4.00 (or below a higher level of coverage up to $8.00). The amendment leaves the rest of the underlying dairy title intact, including the removal of the Dairy Product Price Support Program, the MILC Program, and the Dairy Export Assistance Program and the reauthorization of the 1996 FMMO additional order provision.