Tax relief act is a disappointment for dairy farmers

Farm Forum

After years of work to bring dairy policy reform to fruition, we are extremely disappointed that Congress has turned its back on dairy farmers. Although passing the American Tax Relief Act of 2012 averted a ‘dairy cliff’ that would have devastated the industry, we are increasingly frustrated that legislators have again stalled the Dairy Security Act.

In a vote earlier last year, the Senate gave a nod to the dairy policy reform outlined in the Dairy Security Act. The House Agriculture Committee did the same. But with the clock ticking and pressure on, Congress was never even given the opportunity to vote the Dairy Security Act into law.

In a business climate that is so uncertain, inaction on real reform as part of a greater Farm Bill makes it more difficult for farmers to plan, operate and make business decisions in a competitive marketplace. Our nation’s dairy producers deserve better.

Current domestic dairy programs, as we have witnessed during the last few years, do not provide farmers with the tools they need to manage risk and weather the extremely volatile global marketplace. The Dairy Security Act, developed by dairy farmers for dairy farmers, is the best alternative to current programs and is supported by farmers across the nation.

During the 113th Congress, we will continue to work with the agricultural leaders in Washington, D.C., to push forward the meaningful reform that the Dairy Security Act brings. The continued support of Representatives Lucas and Peterson and Senators Stabenow and Roberts will be more important than ever as we continue the effort to bring long overdue change to the dairy industry.