Washington, D.C.—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives today expressed its strong opposition to a proposed amendment to the House Agriculture Committee farm bill that would change key components of the dairy reform package contained in the bill, costing taxpayers money and jeopardizing the livelihoods of producers across the country.
The amendment, offered by Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and David Scott (D-Ga.), would effectively separate participation in the market stabilization program from other parts of the dairy program contained in the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act.
“These dairy reforms are the result of years of hard work and consensus-building by dairy farmers, their co-ops and the National Milk Producers Federation; the program, which is entirely voluntary, has been carefully crafted and balanced to meet the needs of producers and consumers,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC.
“Severing market stabilization from the rest of the reforms leaves the safety net for dairy farmers woefully incomplete and will cost the American taxpayer millions of dollars over the next decade,” continued Conner. “We strongly urge members of the House Agriculture Committee to vote against the Goodlatte-Scott dairy amendment during markup of FARRM tomorrow.”
NCFC is a national association representing America’s farmer cooperatives. There are nearly 3,000 farmer cooperatives across the U.S. whose members include a majority of our nation’s more than 2 million farmers, ranchers and growers. These farmer cooperative businesses handle, process, and market agricultural commodities and related products; furnish farm supplies; and provide credit and associated financial services. Earnings from these activities are returned to their members on a patronage basis. Farmer cooperatives also provide jobs for nearly 250,000 Americans, many in rural areas, with a combined payroll of over $8 billion.