April 25, 2013 — Both the House and the Senate continue to work on immigration reform. National Milk’s Chris Galen gave DairyLine listeners an update on Thursday’s radio program.
Archive for the ‘Todays Dairy News’ Category
April 24, 2013 — USDA renewed an agreement with the dairy industry last week to lower greenhouse gas emissions and to accelerate the adoption of innovative waste-to-energy projects on U.S. dairy farms. Here’s the conference call with Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, CEO of U.S> Dairy for Innovation Tom Gallagher and New York dairy producer Doug Young:
April 24, 2013 — Michigan milk producer Ken Nobis joined us on Wednesday’s Cattlemen’s Beef Board update to discuss the benefits of the dairy FARM program.
April 19, 2013 — The proposal introduced in the Senate on Wednesday was called “historic” by representatives of major dairy, cooperative, fruit and vegetable grower and farm labor organizations during a joint press conference held this week. The members of the Agriculture Workforce Coalition said the proposal addresses the major needs of U.S. farmers and workers, and helps fix a broken immigration policy that is leading to shortages of workers to produce, harvest and pack the nation’s food supply.
The importance of agriculture and food production is evident in the bill, with more than 100 pages of the 844-page bill devoted to addressing agriculture’s specific needs.
National Milk Producers Federation CEO and president Jerry Kozak participated in the press conference. He identified four key pieces of the proposal essential to dairy producers, covering both current and future immigrant workers.
They include creation of a “blue card” for experienced but undocumented workers, providing them legal protection from deportation; and creation of a new visa program that will provide a stable supply of legal workers in the future. The bill would create a system whereby dairy and other agricultural producers can recruit and hire new workers, either on a contract or at-will basis, from a pool of applicants. The visa program would also do away with current visa requirements that only address the needs of seasonal occupations, since dairy farming is a 365-day-a-year job.
The bill would create specific categories of agricultural workers, and establish minimum wages for each group based on the skills required, and provides other worker protections. And, the “blue cards” would be extended to workers spouses and children to help immigrant labor families stay together.
While historic, the proposal is just the next step in what will likely be a long political battle to achieve immigration reform.
April 18, 2013 — Economists comparing the Dairy Security Act with the Goodlatte-Scott Amendment say DSA would provide the most effective safety net for dairy producers. National Milk’s Chris Galen gave us his take on Thursday’s DairyLine:
April 17, 2013 — The sequestration forced USDA to stop releasing their monthly milk production report. But as Scott Stewart, from Stewart-Peterson, Inc explains, it won’t have that much of an impact.
DairyBusiness Update’s Dave Natzke attended the National Dairy Producers Conference earlier this week in Indianapolis. Other than federal dairy policy and a farm bill, we asked Dave what else is on the minds of U.S. dairy cooperative leaders?
It’s estimated about 58% of U.S. dairy farm workers were born in a country other than the United States, so dairy has a big stake in the current immigration reform debate. And, due to the political nature of that debate, immigration reform faces a small window of opportunity in the 113th Congress, according to Kristi Boswell, with the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Some key bipartisan congressional committees are expected to introduce immigration reform proposals this month. But, as we all know, agreement doesn’t come easy for this Congress, and Boswell warned dairy co-op leaders if there is no consensus by August, this latest opportunity to provide dairy with a legal, stable workforce may be lost.
National Milk’s Jamie Casteneda said research by Texas A&M University shows dairy farms with foreign-born workers produce about 70% of all milk in the United States. Through its membership in the Agricultural Workforce Coalition, National Milk is working with other groups to craft a plan that not only addresses the current dairy workforce, but helps develop a visa program to ensure an adequate dairy labor supply in the future.
Keeping foreign markets open for U.S. dairy products is also growing concern, according to Errico Auricchio, president of northeast Wisconsin cheesemaker Bel Gioioso Cheese. At the center of this issue are European Union efforts to erect trade barriers for U.S. dairy products with common names, such as parmesan and feta cheese. Through insistence on use of geographic indicators in its trade agreements with other countries, the European Union attempting to block U.S. manufacturers from using those common names when marketing their products abroad.
The fight goes well beyond cheese. Recently a British court ruled U.S. yogurt maker Chobani cannot market its product as “Greek” yogurt in England, because it isn’t produced in Greece.
April 11, 2013 — The benefits of adopting the Dairy Security Act (DSA) as part of the next farm bill will be obvious to farmers as Congress begins assembling new ag policy this spring. That’s according to speakers who presented this week at the National Dairy Producers Conference in Indianapolis. National Milk’s Chris Galen explains.
April 9, 2013 — The cash dairy markets continue to show improvement. We asked Matt Mattke from Stewart-Peterson, Inc. the reason for increase on Tuesday’s DairyLine program.
April 8, 2013 — California dairy producer Ray Prock shares how many farmers are now sharing and receiving information.