U.S. House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., today announced that Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, has joined efforts to reform dairy programs. Simpson is the lead Republican proponent of discussion draft legislation released by Peterson last month. The draft language is based on reform proposals put forward by the dairy industry.
"Reforming dairy programs now will ensure producers have a strong safety net in place during tough times. Current programs are not working and if we have another dairy crisis like we had in 2009 the outcome could be devastating. Representative Simpson's support allows us to continue to develop legislation in a bipartisan way and ensure Americans continue to have access to a safe and abundant supply of fresh milk. I appreciate the feedback we've received from the dairy industry thus far and look forward to continuing that dialogue as we move ahead," Peterson said.
"I look forward to working with members of the Idaho dairy industry and Representative Peterson to prevent another economic disaster like the dairy industry suffered in 2009. I believe we can do better for Idaho dairy farmers. This legislation starts a conversation, that I intend to help lead, on how to build a more effective economic safety net for the U.S. dairy industry," Simpson said.
The reform proposal consists of three main components -- a Margin Protection Program, a Dairy Market Stabilization Program and reforms to the Federal Milk Marketing Order system. The proposal would provide a safety net based on margin protection, rather than price; and replace both the Dairy Product Price Support Program (DPPSP) and the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program.