Industry News

Published on Tue, 06/20/2017 - 1:04pm

Dairy Farmers Discuss Policy Priorities During Capitol Hill Visits

Meetings Focus on Industry Issues Including Farm Bill, Food Labeling, Trade & Immigration

 Article courtesy of National Milk Producers Federation

Dairy farmers from across the country visited Capitol Hill today as part of the National Milk Producers Federation’s annual young farmer fly-in to Washington, where in more than 200 meetings they asked lawmakers for action on a handful of issues important to the dairy sector.
More than 70 farmers from 21 states visited their House and Senate members Tuesday as part of their role as national leaders in the 2017 NMPF Young Cooperator (YC) program. The dairy producers discussed the challenges they currently face, and highlighted four priority policy issues that need Congress’ attention:
 • The need to make significant improvements to the structure of USDA’s dairy Margin Protection Program, which currently is not providing an adequate economic safety net for farmers;
• The DAIRY PRIDE Act, which would require the U.S Food and Drug Administration to enforce existing food standards specifying that dairy terms such as “milk,” “cheese,” “yogurt” and “ice cream” should only be used by foods made from real milk;
• The importance of a balanced approach to trade policy, especially as the 24-year-old NAFTA agreement is renegotiated by the United States, Canada and Mexico;
• The need to reform immigration laws in a manner that helps preserve the existing agricultural workforce and allows for the future flow of dairy farm workers.
“We are excited to share the first-person perspective of America’s dairy sector at a time when elected officials in Washington really need to hear our voice about the topics that matter most to farmers,” said Melissa Griffin, a dairy farmer from Buckland, Mass., and chairwoman of the 2017 YC Advisory Council.

Griffin’s husband Adam, who co-chairs the council, added that “we were able to make our points about issues specific to dairy, such as the need for a viable farm safety net and the importance of integrity in federal food labeling laws.  We also showed how high-profile national issues such as trade and immigration affect our family farm in New England.”
Randy Mooney, chairman of NMPF and a dairy farmer from Rogersville, Mo., said that the YC Program “provides our community with a powerful grassroots presence.  We need their engagement in Washington because there are so many issues competing for the attention of Congress.  Thanks to our younger leaders stepping forward, we have a much better opportunity to reach our legislative goals.”
The NMPF Young Cooperators will join NMPF’s Board of Directors on Wednesday for their June board meeting.

About NMPF
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more on NMPF’s activities, visit our website at 


CWT Assists with 549,000 Pounds of Cheese Export Sales

Article courtesy of National Milk Producers Federation

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 6 requests for export assistance from member cooperatives that have contracts to sell 548,951 pounds (249 metric tons) of Cheddar, Gouda, and Monterey Jack cheese to customers in Asia and Oceania. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from June through September 2017.
So far this year, CWT has assisted member cooperatives who have contracts to sell 38.257 million pounds of American-type cheeses, and 3.013 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat) to 17 countries on five continents. The sales are the equivalent of 420.905 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program in the long term helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them. This, in turn, positively affects all U.S. dairy farmers by  strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.
The amounts of dairy products and related milk volumes reflect current contracts for delivery, not completed export volumes. CWT will pay export assistance to the bidders only when export and delivery of the product is verified by the submission of the required documentation.
The Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) Export Assistance program is funded by voluntary contributions from dairy cooperatives and individual dairy farmers. The money raised by their investment is being used to strengthen and stabilize the dairy farmers’ milk prices and margins. For more information about CWT, visit