Today, Upstate New York representatives called for reforms to the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) in the Fiscal Year 2018 Farm Bill. In a sent a letter to Rep. Mike Conaway, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, New York Reps. Claudia Tenney (NY-22), John Faso (NY-19), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Tom Reed (NY-23), John Katko (NY-24) and Chris Collins (NY-27) joined in requesting reforms to the 2018 Farm Bill that would make programs more effective for family farmers in upstate New York.
Although the MPP-Dairy program is fairly new, it has underperformed for the farmers of New York State in its first two years. Throughout the nation, dairy producers paid millions of dollars in premium payments, but received very little return on their investments. Important reforms to the MPP-Dairy program include reducing premium rates, and providing a viable safety net for dairy farmers in the coming years.
“In the 22nd District, family farmers are the backbone of our communities and economy,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “That’s why I’m working to ensure that our policies help family farmers grow and compete. Excessive premiums in the MPP-Dairy program only hurt small and medium sized farmers. Reforming the MPP-Dairy program will make the program more effective and affordable for dairy farmers throughout upstate.”
“The dairy industry is vitally important to Upstate economies and the people across the country who consume dairy products on a daily basis. The Dairy Margin Protection Program, while well-intentioned, is in need of reforms that will make it more usable for farmers. As we consider the 2018 Farm Bill we must also consider programs like this and the need for reforms to better serve our nation’s dairy farmers,” said Congressman Faso.
“As we work toward the next Farm Bill, I will continue to fight for the priorities of our North Country farmers,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Dairy is critical to our agriculture economy and I am pleased to join my colleagues on this important push to support our local farmers.”
“Hardworking farmers across Upstate New York deserve to compete on an even playing field. I am happy to join with others in the New York delegation in calling for reforms to the MPP-Dairy program. New York dairy farmers deserve to benefit from their investment in this program,” said Congressman Reed.
“Central New York’s vast dairy industry is vital to our local economy, and I’m committed to fighting for policies that will ensure small, family farms can grow and thrive,” said Congressman Katko. “As the House begins its work on the Farm Bill, I’ve joined with my colleagues from across the region to highlight the need to improve MPP-Dairy and ensure this program is affordable and efficient for small family farms in New York State.”
“All stakeholders know that reforms need to be made to the MPP, and the dairy farmers in Western New York deserve a workable program that aids in their success. We look forward to working with Chairman Conaway and the Agriculture committee to find a solution that makes this program more effective and affordable,” said Congressman Collins.
As the fourth largest milk-producing state in the nation, local economies throughout New York rely heavily on the nearly 5,000 family owned dairy farms. Local farms provide a number of jobs that help to stabilize rural upstate communities, while making significant impacts on the national agricultural and food manufacturing industry.
The full text of the letter can be found here.