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OPINION

WFU celebrates introduction of Dairy Pricing and Policy Act

Wisconsin Farmers Union
Darin Von Ruden

CHIPPEWA FALLS – Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU) commends Representatives Ron Kind and Mike Gallagher on their introduction today of the Dairy Pricing and Policy Act of 2020. The bill directs the USDA to convene a Dairy Pricing and Policy Commission that will make legislative, agency, and market-based recommendations to improve milk prices and dairy farm profitability.

The bill calls for a comprehensive study on the following:

  • Decreasing real values of dairy farmer milk prices and income
  • Economic and policy causes for the declining number of small and medium sized dairy operations
  •  Levels of milk production in the United States with regional changes in farm numbers, cow numbers and milk production per cow
  • Opportunities and challenges for increasing domestic and export demand for dairy products
  • The effects of declining dairy farm numbers on rural economies
  • Causes for the consolidation within the dairy industry

The commission would be tasked with developing recommendations for responding to periods of heightened dairy production during low prices, enhancing competitiveness of American dairy in world markets, evaluating new markets for dairy exports, and ensuring transparency of dairy pricing.

WFU President Darin Von Ruden noted the establishment of such a commission is an important step forward for Wisconsin’s family dairy farmers. The legislation is supported by both Wisconsin Farmers Union and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

"We must take a serious look at the factors driving low milk prices and dairy farm loss in Wisconsin, such as oversupply, an uncoordinated dairy supply chain, and a pricing system that is subject to manipulation," Von Ruden said. "The Dairy Pricing and Policy commission will bring key stakeholders together to find ways to move the industry forward on a path to profitability. We thank Congressmen Kind and Gallagher for this bipartisan effort and continued support for Wisconsin dairy farmers."