University of Minn. Extension launches 2014 Farm Bill dairy education seminars

Farm Forum

ST. PAUL, Minn. — University of Minnesota Extension and the Farm Service Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture begin a series of free dairy education seminars this month to help farmers make decisions brought about by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Dairy producers have until Nov. 28 to enroll in the Dairy Margin Protection Program. Newly created by the farm bill, the program aims to reduce producers’ exposure to catastrophic losses through risk management. The program is voluntary and pays producers when the difference between the national price of milk and the average cost of feed falls below a level selected by the producers.

“The farm bill creates a new opportunity for dairy producers to manage risk. These training sessions will go through various scenarios to help dairy producers make the most appropriate decisions for their operations,” said Kevin Klair, University of Minnesota Extension economist and program leader at the university’s Center for Farm Financial Management. “This is a new program in which we think most dairy producers should at least enroll at the minimum level and then thoroughly analyze the program and higher coverage options for their operation.”

The seminars are offered at 18 locations through early November and will be led by Extension educators and FSA staff; no registration is required. Details are available at

The farm bill designates the Extension arm of land-grant universities nationwide as the education provider for producers.