2009-09-17 / Local & State

Farmers Call For Action In Dairy Crisis


National Farmers Union members, in Washington this week for the organization's fall fly-in, were joined by Senate leaders in a call for relief to struggling dairy producers.

Farmers Union members were joined by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Robert Casey Jr., D-Pa., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. at a Capitol Hill press conference Tuesday to call for action.

"The effects of the ongoing dairy crisis are being felt across the country," NFU President Roger Johnson said. "Dairy producers both big and small and across all regions have felt the devastating effects. We're calling on members of Congress to continue to do all they can to provide relief."

Among many steps that can be taken to solve the crisis, NFU is urging House and Senate appropriators to maintain the $350 million Sanders dairy amendment, as included in the Senate-passed fiscal year 2010 Agriculture Appropriations bill, throughout conference negotiations.

"We know there is no simple solution to easing the effects of the dairy crisis, but believe this is a much-needed lifeline," Johnson said.

Other dairy crisis solutions NFU members are suggesting during the fly-in include:

Passage of the Milk Import Tariff Equity Act, introduced by Sen. Schumer, D-N.Y.;

Passage of the Family Dairy Preservation Act of 2009 introduced by Sen. Gillibrand, D-N.Y.;

Launching the Federal Milk Marketing Order review as directed in the 2008 Farm Bill;

Launching antitrust and potential market manipulation investigations at the Department of Justice and Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and

Establishing a long-term supply management program.

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