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EDITORIALS

NMPF urges Congress to put farmers first in lame-duck session

Jim Mulhern
National Milk Producer Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern urges Congress to put farmers first in passing farm bill during lame duck session.

Given the sustained low prices dairy farmers have faced, coupled with uncertainty in agricultural trade policy, it is more important than ever that Congress quickly enact the 2018 Farm Bill before adjourning for the year.

Both the House and Senate-passed bills make important reforms to dairy policy, making the Margin Protection Program a more effective safety net for producers and expanding producer access to additional risk management options.

NMPF, whose member cooperatives produce the majority of milk in the United States, commended House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders for working to negotiate a final 2018 Farm Bill this year. 

We are grateful for the hard work the bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have put in to get us to this point. We stand ready to work with them and their colleagues in the coming weeks to get the job done.

National Milk has actively worked toward securing federal aid for dairy farmers at levels appropriate to the hardships producers face. On Oct. 24, NMPF urged Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to consider four separate analyses into trade-related dairy losses that each indicate damages of more than $1 billion when USDA calculates its second round of trade-mitigation payments slated for later this year. NMPF members reiterated that call the following week at their annual meeting in Phoenix.

Mulhern is president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation