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NMPF Welcome Congressman For Policy Package

15 August 2011

US - Congressman Mike Simpson of Idaho’s second district, a senior Republican from one of the largest dairy states, announced he will be a co-sponsor of the draft legislation incorporating the key elements of National Milk Producers Federation's (NMPF) Foundation for the Future programme.

The NMPF hailed this development as “an important step in demonstrating the bipartisan, national scope of the effort to reform dairy policy,” according to NMPF President and CEO Jerry Kozak.

While not yet formally introduced, the dairy reform package text has been released by the House Agriculture Committee’s Ranking Democratic Member, Collin Peterson (D-MN): http://democrats.agriculture.house.gov/inside/Legislation/PETEMN_001_xml_071111.pdf.

The legislative language is termed a discussion draft, rather than a bill, as it now allows members of Congress to view the language, prior to it being formally introduced as a bill. Mr Peterson, along with Mr Simpson, will now be seeking additional cosponsors, of both parties, to cosponsor and introduce the legislation once Congress returns from its August recess after Labor Day.

According to the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, the state trade group for dairy farmers, Mr Simpson’s support of the Foundation for the Future legislation is evidence of his commitment to the economic well-being of Idaho’s dairy producers.

“Congressman Mr Simpson understands how important the dairy sector is to Idaho, and how much our farmers need a better safety net than what current federal policy offers,” said Mike Roth, President of the IDA, and a farmer from Jerome, Idaho.

“The approach he’s supporting allows us, as the third-largest dairy state, to have real economic protection, while still enjoying the opportunity to grow in the future.”

California’s Milk Producers Council, another western trade group of dairy farmers, also praised Simpson for joining Mr Peterson in backing the legislation.

“As a member of both the Budget and Appropriations Committees in the House of Representatives, Congressman Mr Simpson understands how critical it will be to do more with less in terms of farm program spending in the future. That’s why his endorsement of this approach to creating new dairy policy is important beyond just the farm sector,” said Rob Vandenheuvel of the Milk Producers Council.

Mr Kozak said that NMPF will continue working with Peterson and Simpson to build support for the legislative draft so that Congress can take it up for consideration as soon as possible after its August recess concludes.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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