In the face of difficult dairy market conditions in Wisconsin and across the country, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin sent a letter this week to Senate leadership urging them to protect the economic security of our nation’s dairy farmers and update and expand the Dairy Margin Protection Program in the FY2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill to better support the needs of family farmers.
“Our family dairy farmers are facing extremely challenging times and Washington has failed to respond,” said Senator Baldwin. “It is critical that we update the Dairy Margin Protection Program, which is an important tool for the economic security of dairy farmers. I am hopeful that my Senate colleagues will join me and take action to do right by our farm families and the rural communities they support.”
The Dairy Margin Protection Program was passed in the 2014 Farm Bill as a tool for farmers to manage the risks they face from market fluctuations in milk prices and feed costs. It is an insurance program that makes payments to dairy farmers when the margin between the price of milk and cost of feed falls below a certain level. Farmers pay for the insurance, and can choose their preferred coverage level when enrolling.
As Senator Baldwin explains in the letter, the program has not provided meaningful coverage for dairy farmers and is in need of reform.