As the Senate takes up the 2012 Farm Bill, the dairy industry remains divided on the provisions of the Dairy Security Act in the legislation. There is opposition to the plan from the dairy processors and some producers who do not like the supply management provision saying it discourages investment in growth and would make the U.S. an unreliable supplier on the world market.
Another group of producers with the National Family Farm Coalition say the plan does not do enough to secure the income and future of dairy farmers. Arden Tewksbury of Pennsylvania says dairy policy needs to be fixed and the correct fix lies in The Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act introduced by Senator Robert Casey of Pennsylvania. There are three main components in the bill: a new pricing formula which would pay producers based upon the national average cost of production; a supply management program which would be initiated if necessary and challenge the amount of dairy imports coming into the country.
Tewksbury says unlike the Dairy Security Act, the Casey plan would not cost the federal government any money. The group is asking dairy producers to contact their Senators and voice their support for Senate Bill 1640.