Omnibus bill contains provisions important to farmers
March 23, 2018
Brody Stapel, president of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, spoke out about the inclusion of three important farm provisions in the federal omnibus funding bill.
The bill, approved by the Senate and House, awaits President Trump’s signature. Approval is needed to avoid a government shutdown.
Two of the items that would affect farmers are in the bill language, which will give them the power of law, and one is in the accompanying report language, which includes non-binding directives that help to clarify legislative intent and guide government agencies.
Six of our member farmers and several staff members are in Washington D.C. to meet with federal lawmakers and agency leaders about the needs of our farmers.
We are working alongside our D.C.-based consultant Michael Torrey & Associates.
Today, we are holding 21 meetings with lawmakers and their staffs representing our members’ states to explain the challenges our farmers face each day while working hard to create the safe and nutritious milk that feeds so many people in the U.S. and other countries. We’ll also be meeting with representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The key issues we are raising:
A sustainable workforce
Trade and more access to foreign markets
Highly functional federal dairy programs
Protection and promotion of dairy products
Environmental regulation and sustainable innovation
Mitch Davis, Edge board treasurer, talks about what dairy needs out of trade at Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc. Ag and Food Policy Summit in Washington, D.C.
DBMMC Works to Protect Agriculture Programs from Budget Cuts
Feb. 21, 2017
Together with a coalition of other groups, DBMMC sent a letter to the chairpersons of U.S. House and Senate Committees on Budget and Appropriations. The groups that signed the letter, including our co-op, oppose additional cuts to agriculture programs as part of the upcoming budget process. The letter explains this is not because agriculture is unwilling to do its part during tight budgetary times. Rather, agriculture programs have already been cut significantly in the last farm bill, which was designed to achieve $23 billion in deficit reduction over the course of ten years. Any significant new cuts to these programs, which are generally run in an efficient and lean manner, could be very harmful.
DBMMC Joins Other Ag Groups to Support Sonny Perdue's Nomination
Feb. 2, 2017
The co-op added its name to a letter supporting the nomination of Sonny Perdue to serve as the next secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Perdue was a strong advocate for agriculture during his time in the Georgia legislature and as governor of that state. He is also a veterinarian by training. In the letter, hundreds of groups representing all aspects of agriculture urge the senate to quickly approve Perdue’s nomination. The top job at USDA was among the last high-level nominations made by President Trump, so a speedy approval process is even more important to ensuring that USDA has the leadership it needs.
DBMMC Staff Attends NCFC Government Affairs Conference
Nov. 14, 2016
Our co-op is a member of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC). NCFC is a national group of farmer-led co-ops that represents virtually every aspect of agricultural production in the United States. DBMMC is represented on NCFC’s Government Affairs committee. This meeting is focused on analyzing the outcome of the recent election and its impact on issues important to farmer co-ops. The group will also discuss policy priorities for NCFC in the coming year, including items like labor, trade, and transportation.
Co-op Urges Congressman Sensenbrenner to Support TPP
Nov. 8, 2016
Improving access to global markets for our dairy products is essential to long-term growth in the dairy sector. It is no coincidence that record high milk prices coincided with record high dairy exports. Expanding opportunities for trade is a major policy goal of DBMMC. While the future of TPP is uncertain, the co-op is doing its part to encourage members of Congress that have not made up their mind yet regarding TPP to support the agreement’s passage. Congressman Sensenbrenner is one of those Congressman. See the co-op’s letter to him here. More broadly, DBMMC wants to encourage support for other existing and future trade deals.
DBMMC Opposes EPA’s Attack on Atrazine Use
Sept. 1, 2016
Atrazine is a valuable tool for dairy farmers growing their own crops to feed their cattle and other row crop farmers that help to supply us with our feed. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just released a new draft ecological risk assessment regarding atrazine. EPA’s work is contrary to a wealth of other studies that show current atrazine use is safe. EPA solicited comments regarding their new draft document. DBMMC opposes unnecessary regulations on worthwhile technology like atrazine. Together with many other agricultural groups, we are submitting comments critical of EPA’s work on this issue and supportive of continued use of atrazine. You can read our co-op’s comments here.