FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 12, 2015
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON (Jan. 12, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said the strong signup for the new Margin Protection Plan (MPP) for dairy was “great news,” and noted the warm reception the new program was receiving from family farmers was clear evidence that they need good risk management tools in hand. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said that enrollment in the program – which already exceeds half the nation’s dairy farms – exceeded expectations.
“Family-run dairy farms across the country embraced this program in large numbers, because farmers need risk management tools to handle situations beyond their control,” said Johnson. “I applaud USDA’s aggressive education campaign that demonstrated the value of this tool to producers, ultimately resulting in robust enrollment numbers.”
The Margin Protection Program, created in the 2014 Farm Bill, replaced the Milk Income Loss Contract program and gives participating dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best for their operation. NFU successfully obtained a provision during Farm Bill drafting to ensure that family farmers received reduced price premiums for this new product.
“The volatility of dairy prices continues to increase year over year and is having a significant impact on the family farmer,” said Johnson. “We’re very pleased that family-run dairy farms were willing to purchase coverage even after a very profitable year,” said Johnson. “Dairy prices are cyclical and we have learned that good years often give way to bad years. Under this new framework dairy producers can be confident that they have some protection,” he added.
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.