Minnesota’s dairy industry has far-reaching economic impacts on numerous sectors throughout the state, including: crops farming via feed utilization, dairy processing and food manufacturing, supply and services, transportation, distribution and marketing.
The total economic impact generated by Minnesota’s dairy production and processing brings over $11 billion in total output and supports more than 40,000 jobs.
Given the important role the dairy industry plays in Minnesota’s economy, it is critically important that we advocate for federal dairy reforms that meet the needs of our dairy sector – reforms that are supported by Minnesota’s dairy sector.
It is not acceptable for an elected representative to turn a deaf ear to the concerns of his constituents and say “Trust me, I know best.”
Unfortunately, Collin Peterson is advocating for changes to federal dairy policy that are counterproductive to Minnesota’s dairy farmers – and as a result, Minnesota’s dairy industry.
Instead of focusing on what organizations “inside the beltway” want, it is time for your elected officials to advocate on behalf of their constituents.
For example, Collin Peterson’s “voluntary” Dairy Producer Margin Protection Program (which would provide margin-based assistance for producers equal to the difference between the all-milk price and a national feed cost) is tied to a supply management scheme that would mandate government supply control. Collin Peterson calls his version of supply management the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP) and, in order for a producer to participate in his margin-based insurance program, he or she would be forced to participate in the supply control structure.
Such an approach could significantly limit a farmer’s ability to manage his or her own operation and limit their ability to enhance their way of life. The supply control piece would cap the success of Minnesota’s dairy industry.
This doesn’t make sense with many people in this country and around the world going hungry.
As Minnesota’s dairy farmers continue to seek market opportunities throughout the globe, advocating for public policy that allows for more government involvement that distorts the market and hinders opportunity for economic growth is extremely counterproductive. Instead, it is important that we examine new forward-looking policies and alternatives that will allow the United States to fill the increased demand predicted around the globe.
Our elected representatives should not take a step backward by instituting supply management.