Goodlatte and Scott to Try Their Dairy Program Approach Again

As an alternative to the Dairy Security Act - Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte and Georgia Congressman David Scott have introduced the Dairy Freedom Act. Goodlatte says the measure represents a true compromise on dairy policy - adding that the bill will reform and improve current dairy policies. According to Goodlatte - the Dairy Freedom Act would provide producers with a viable safety net - without supply management or new administrative fees for dairy farmers.

Goodlatte says supply management is contrary to the goals of limited government, economic growth and free markets. He says a supply control program puts federal government bureaucrats in the middle of market decisions by manipulating dairy prices, instituting dairy production quotas and penalizing consumers. Higher milk prices - Goodlatte says - would negatively affect American families, food manufacturers, retailers and restaurants. He doesn't believe the government has any business intervening in the market.

While their approach lost in a 17 to 29 House Agriculture Committee vote last year - Goodlatte and Scott hope their legislation will be considered as the base text of the Farm Bill's dairy provisions. International Dairy Foods Association Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs and Economic Policy Jerry Slominski says Congress should use the measure as a way to move the farm bill forward. He calls it a true middle-ground approach where no one gets everything they want. But National Milk Producers Federation hopes the committee will reject this approach again this year. NMPF CEO Jerry Kozak says the market stabilization program in the Dairy Security Act approved last year by the House and Senate Ag Committees makes the program cost effective.

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