September 10, 2013 — Officials of Pro-Ag were in Washington DC last week (August 26, 27, 28) calling upon staff members of all 45 members of the House of Representatives’ Agriculture Committee.
Arden Tewksbury, Manager of Pro-Ag, said, “We have handed out packets containing dairy farmer cost of production figures, loss of dairy farm figures, and the amendment to the Senate Farm Bill that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) was able to secure in the final language of the Senate Farm Bill. We urged the House Ag Committee to place this language in the final Farm Bill that the US Senate and House members agree to.
In essence, Senator Gillibrand’s proposal (now part of the Senate Farm Bill) urges the US Secretary of Agriculture to conduct hearings in an attempt to create a new milk pricing formula to pay dairy farmers for their milk that they market.
Pro-Ag has been a strong critic of the “end product pricing formula” currently being used to price milk at the farm level. Actually, several members of Pro-Ag testified against the implementation of the end product pricing formula at hearings conducted by the USDA at Arlington, VA in the late 1990s.
According to Tewksbury, “the Pro-Ag members urged a new milk pricing formula based on the dairy farmers’ cost of production.”
After the end product pricing formula became law, Pro-Ag immediately described the formula as “a processor’s dream and the dairy farmers’ nightmare!”
Pro-Ag is strongly urging all dairy farmers to call their US Representative and urge them to contact the members of the House Ag Committee to be sure Senator Gillibrand’s proposal becomes part of the final Farm Bill.
Tewksbury concluded, “This could very well be the last chance to obtain a realistic milk pricing formula for American dairy farmers.”
Pro-Ag can be reached at 570-833-5776.