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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

09-04-14 Inside the RMFU with Executive Director Ben Rainbolt: NFU Fly-in, COOL, TPA, RFS, Midwest Rail Issues, Beef Checkoff and MORE…

Posted by Brian Allmer on September 4, 2014

To listen to the interview with RMFU Ex Director Ben Rainbolt click the mp3 audio link below… 

090414_RMFU-Rainbolt_11m15s

Ben Rainbolt, RMFU Executive Director

Ben Rainbolt, RMFU Executive Director

(BARN Media & CoAgNews Network – Briggsdale, CO) September 4th, 2014  – Joining me Inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network for this month’s Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Radioline Report is RMFU Executive Director Ben Rainbolt, discussing several topics including:

  • NFU’s Fly-In this weekend
  • COOL
  • TPA
  • RFS
  • NFU’s decision regarding Beef Checkoff Working Group
  • and much more…

To learn more about the Rocky Mountain Farmers Uinion – CLICK HERE

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08-28-14 NMPF Pleased with Newly Unveiled Margin Protection Program for Dairy Farmers…

Posted by Brian Allmer on August 28, 2014

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

Sign-Up for NMPF-Designed Insurance Program Runs Through November 28

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – The new margin protection insurance program for dairy farmers, which was developed by the National Milk Producers Federation and enacted in the 2014 Farm Bill, was formally unveiled today by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. NMPF said it is pleased with the overall provisions of the new program, and urged farmers to begin familiarizing themselves with what will be a “valuable tool” to help manage farms’ financial risks in the future.

“Today’s release of the new dairy program’s details is the culmination of five years of work by NMPF, the nation’s dairy cooperatives and other farm groups to create an important new safety net for dairy farmers,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF. “We applaud the U.S. Department of Agriculture on its hard work during the past six months putting the final touches on the dairy provisions of Congress’s Farm Bill. While some of the issues we raised could not be fully resolved in the short time available to complete the rulemaking, we’re pleased with the final package.”

Mulhern said NMPF will be working in the coming weeks to help dairy farmers understand the importance of the new safety net program. He said the organization is updating its www.futurefordairy.com website with relevant information for farmers, including a spreadsheet of historical margin trends, and an online calculator that will allow farmers to enter pricing and production data to help them select insurance coverage levels in the future.

Every farm producing milk commercially is eligible to sign up for the new program. USDA said producers can sign up at their local Farm Service Agency offices starting on Sept. 2, and the sign-up period will run through November 28. This 13-week period will allow farmers to register for coverage for the last four months of calendar year 2014, as well as for the entire year of 2015. There is a $100 sign-up fee for each calendar year, which qualifies a farmer to receive free, basic margin insurance coverage. Once farmers pay that fee, they are enrolled in the MPP for its duration, through 2017, and must annually pay at least the $100 fee.

The MPP allows farmers to protect the margin between milk prices and feed costs. Producers will insure their margins on a sliding scale, and must decide annually both how much of their milk production to cover (from 25% up to 90%), and the level of margin they wish to protect.

Basic coverage, at a margin of $4 per hundredweight, is offered at no cost. Above the $4 margin level, coverage is available in 50-cent increments, up to $8 per cwt. Premiums are fixed for five years, but will be discounted by 25% in 2014 and 2015, for annual farm production volumes up to 4 million pounds. Premium rates are higher at production levels above 4 million pounds.

Importantly, USDA agreed with NMPF that the lower premiums will apply to the first 4 million pounds of a farm’s enrolled annual milk production, regardless of the farm’s total production. For example, a farm with an annual production history of 8 million pounds that elects to cover 50% of its production history would pay the lower rate on all 4 million pounds enrolled in the program. Farmers will be able to change their coverage (the percentage of milk insured, as well as margin level) on an annual basis, with USDA establishing a 90-day enrollment window of July 1-Sept. 30 each year after 2014.

The MPP’s margin definition is the national all-milk price, minus national average feed costs, computed by a formula NMPF developed using the prices of corn, soybean meal, and alfalfa hay. Farms in the program will be assigned a production history consisting of their highest milk production in either 2011, 2012 or 2013. A farm’s production history will increase each year after the farm first signs up based on the average growth in national milk production. Any production expansion on an individual farm above the national average cannot be insured.

When the margins announced by USDA for the consecutive two-month periods of Jan.-Feb., Mar.-Apr., May-June, etc., fall below the margin protection level selected by the producer (from $8/cwt. down to $4), the program will pay farmers the difference on one-sixth (or two months’ worth) of their production history at the percentage of coverage they elected to insure. Premiums must be paid either in full at sign-up, or 25% by February 1, with the remaining 75% balance to be paid by June 1. NMPF had urged USDA to provide greater flexibility on producer premium payment, such as through milk check deductions. “While USDA advised us they did not have time to set up such a system for the initial launch of MPP, we will continue to work with the department in an effort to modify this feature for future years,” Mulhern said.

“The new Margin Protection Program is more flexible, comprehensive and equitable than any safety net program dairy farmers have had in the past,” Mulhern said. “It is risk management for the 21st century, and we strongly encourage farmers to invest in using it going forward.”

Also today USDA issued the rules for another element of the farm bill’s dairy title design to help farmers: a Dairy Product Donation program through which USDA will purchase consumer-packaged dairy products for food assistance programs during extreme low-margin periods. “This is a positive step as well,” said Mulhern, “since it will stimulate demand, help dairy farmers when they need it most, and provide additional food to those in need.”

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.

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07-14-14 NMPF Endorses Draft U.S.-Canadian Plan for Regionalization of Trade If Countries are Confronted with Outbreak of Serious Animal Disease…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 14, 2014

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – The National Milk Producers Federation today endorsed a draft plan for allowing the U.S. and Canada to cope with an outbreak of a serious foreign animal contagion, such as foot-and-mouth disease, suggesting the plan is a template for similar plans involving other important dairy export markets.

The plan, drafted by the Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, calls for the United States and Canada to recognize each other’s efforts to control an outbreak, while regionalizing how the outbreak is handled, so as to allow continued trade with disease-free areas of the country.

In comments filed with APHIS Monday, NMPF, the voice of 32,000 dairy farmers in Washington, noted that Canada is the second-largest export market for U.S. dairy products, and that an outbreak of a highly contagious animal disease such as FMD in either country could be catastrophic for the U.S. dairy industry.

“We applaud the Agriculture Department for working with its Canadian counterparts to prepare for a foreign animal disease outbreak,” said Jamie Jonker, NMPF’s vice president for sustainability & scientific affairs. “We fully support the draft plan and see it as an effective tool for dealing with an outbreak.”

The plan, officially termed a framework, calls for the two countries to cooperate in establishing quarantine areas that would be the focus of disease eradication efforts in an outbreak. Trade could then resume or continue in areas considered free of disease.

“The framework will facilitate continued trade between disease-free areas, while safeguarding animal health in both countries,” said Jonker. “NMPF encourages USDA to use this approach as a template for other countries that are important U.S. dairy export markets.” These countries include Mexico, China, Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.

This is in contrast to another USDA proposal earlier this year, which NMPF determined had significant flaws, because it will allow imports of fresh beef from certain parts of Brazil which have a history of foot and mouth disease.

“We are happy to have Brazil export its enthusiasm for soccer,” said Jonker, “but the last thing we need is for that country to send us its FMD problems.”

Over the last decade, U.S. dairy exports have increased more than 20 percent annually and the United States is now a global leader in exports for products including cheese, skim milk powder, whey products and lactose.

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies.

Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.

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07-10-14 Inside the RMFU with Bob Kjelland: Waters of the US, Commodity Prices, Aging Ag Workforce, CO Farmers Markets and MORE…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 10, 2014


To listen to the interview with RMFU’s Director of Communications, click the mp3 audio link below…

071014_RMFU-BobKjelland_18m52s

Bob Kjelland RMFU Dir of Communications

Bob Kjellan, RMFU’s Director of Communications

(BARN Media & CoAgNews Network – Briggsdale, CO) July 10th, 2014 – On this month’s edition of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union’s Radioline Report inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network I will be visiting with RMFU’s NEW Director of Communications Bob Kjelland. Kjelland discusses several topics including:

  • EPA’s “Waters of the US” proposed final rule and the RMFU’s “They Don’t Talk For Me” ad campaign
  • The recent slide of ag commodity prices
  • NFU’s Solution to the Aging Ag Workforce Problem
  • Colorado’s Farmers Markets
  • & Much More!

Additional Information and links regarding the EPA’s proposed Final Rule on the “Waters of the US”:

Comment period extended thru October

The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union: Serving family farming and ranching since 1907…Learn more online @ www.rmfu.org

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07-07-14 NMPF Asks EPA to Withdraw Guidance that Could Hinder Water Conservation on Farms…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 7, 2014

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – The National Milk Producers Federation today asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw recent guidance concerning when farmers must seek Clean Water Act permits for a long list of normal farming activities near wetlands.

NMPF, the voice of more than 32,000 dairy farmers in Washington, said the EPA’s proposal could have the perverse effect of discouraging water conservation, by changing the long-standing relationship between farmers and the Agriculture Department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The EPA guidance, officially called an Interpretive Rule, was issued in March. It says producers are only exempt from needing Clean Water Act permits for more than 50 routine farming practices if they comply with detailed NRCS technical conservation standards. Until now, these standards have been voluntary, and the farming practices exempt from the permit process.

In comments filed Monday, NMPF said the guidance changes NRCS’s role from that of a conservation partner to an enforcer of the Clean Water Act on EPA’s behalf.

“Until now, NRCS has been the place producers could go for conservation advice, while EPA was charged with ensuring compliance with the Clean Water Act,” said Jamie Jonker, NMPF’s Vice President for Sustainability & Scientific Affairs. “The cooperative relationship with NRCS made it more likely farmers would adopt water conservation practices.

“Unfortunately,” Jonker said, “the interpretive rule moves NRCS into an enforcement role and, in the process, could set back conservation efforts.”

In its comments, NMPF used harvesting hay as an example. Under the Interpretive Rule, farmers harvesting hay may be exempt from needing a CWA permit only if they follow NRCS Conservation Practice Standard No. 511:  four pages of criteria covering timing of the harvest, moisture content of the hay, length of the cut hay, stubble height and much more.

“Many dairy farmers harvest hay without any reference to NRCS standards,” said Jonker.  “Will these farmers now be forced to comply with Standard No. 511? If so, many will simply choose not to work with the NRCS. As a result, there will be less water conservation on farms, not more.”

Jonker noted that NMPF has drawn up a detailed environmental handbook based on NRCS standards but tailored specifically to dairy farmers. “Under the IR, producers who follow the handbook apparently will not qualify for a permit exemption,” Jonker said. “Having invested time and money in producing the handbook, NMPF is now forced to ask if it was worth it to try to do the right thing.”

Additional points in the NMPF comments:

  • While EPA argues that meeting the NRCS standards is still voluntary, in practice it is mandatory, since failure to comply may expose farmers to legal liability.
  • More than 100 farming practices covered by NRCS standards but not listed the IR are left under a “cloud of suspicion” and further expose farmer to legal liability.
  • As a major policy change, the IR should have been issued as a proposed regulation, with public comments in advance of approval, rather than as guidance that is immediately applicable.

“NMPF and its members are committed to protecting U.S. waterways through voluntary efforts and regulatory compliance with the Clean Water Act,” NMPF said. “(But) the IR will have the perverse impact of harming the longstanding trust and cooperative relationship between producers and NRCS.  Consequently, water quality improvements will be adversely impacted.”

Established initially the 1930s, the NRCS provides voluntary help to farmers who want to conserve the resources on their farms.

In May, NMPF urged the Environmental Protection Agency to allow more time to examine a controversial draft regulation expanding the waterways subject to regulation under the federal Clean Water Act. That request was granted on June 10th.

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies.

Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.

 

 

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07-01-14 NMPF Statement on White House Announcement on Impasse over Immigration Reform…

Posted by Brian Allmer on July 1, 2014

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

From Jim Mulhern, President and Chief Executive Officer, NMPF:

“It is very frustrating for America’s dairy farmers that our elected officials could not set aside partisan politics this year in order to finally address the dysfunctional policy of our immigration system. The irony is that virtually everyone on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue admits the status quo is unacceptable; yet we seem destined to continue suffering from it, because common-sense reforms remain beyond our reach.

In addition to the headaches this dilemma poses to dairy farmers, who still have to deal with workforce challenges, the lack of a legislative fix to our immigration system is bad news for America’s consumers, all of whom are dependent on a domestic food production system that itself is dependent on immigrant workers.

The reality is that most major public policy controversies take multiple efforts, by a variety of stakeholders working together in common cause, to finally make things happen.  Immigration reform will happen. It is only a matter of time. We remain committed to that effort.”

###

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.

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06-12-14 NMPF Statement on Veto of Connecticut Legislation Banning Chocolate Milk from School Cafeterias…

Posted by Brian Allmer on June 12, 2014

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation issued the following statement today from President and CEO Jim Mulhern on Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy’s veto of legislation banning chocolate milk from Connecticut school lunchrooms:

“It’s encouraging to see reason and common sense returning to the debate over chocolate milk in schools. As a recent university study made clear, schools that remove chocolate milk from the cafeteria are simply throwing the nutritional baby out with the bathwater. They deprive kids of calcium, protein and other needed nutrients while they increase waste and boost costs. Certainly, obesity is a serious problem among today’s youth. But the answer isn’t to ban chocolate milk. Connecticut is not required to pass this legislation to keep its federal school meals funding. Federal nutrition standards specifically allow schools to serve fat-free chocolate milk as part of reimbursable meals and in cafeteria a la carte lines. Governor Malloy is to be congratulated for thinking this through, and not opting for the quick, easy but wrong solution.”

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.

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06-10-14 NMPF Praises EPA Decision to Allow More Time to Consider U.S. Waterways Regulation…

Posted by Brian Allmer on June 10, 2014

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation today praised the Environmental Protection Agency for agreeing to allow more time to examine a controversial draft regulation expanding the waterways subject to pollution controls under the federal Clean Water Act. 

“Dairy farmers are committed to protecting U.S. waters both voluntarily and under the Clean Water Act,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern, “but the EPA needs to go about this effort in the right way. Allowing more time to consider EPA’s draft will give everyone the chance to adequately consider the issues raised in the draft and make it less likely the final regulation will be harmful to dairy farmers.”

NMPF represents dairy farmers producing most of the nation’s milk supply. In a May 30 letter, NMPF asked that the public comment period on EPA’s draft regulation be extended at least 90 days.  

NMPF cited two reasons for requesting more time to consider the regulation:  First, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have not completed the report providing the scientific underpinning for the regulation; and second, many of the key concepts discussed in the draft are unclear or subject to interpretation by government regulators. 

“For dairy farmers to understand and assess the proposed changes, the science behind them must be clear and conclusive,” Mulhern said. “And yet, the draft relies on the scientific conclusions of an EPA report still under review by the agency’s Science Advisory Board.” Likewise, Mulhern said, many of the terms used in the draft, including terms like ‘‘floodplain’’ and ‘‘tributary,’’ and not well defined. “These terms are as murky at best, and, therefore, will create confusion for dairy producers.

“Given the scope and complexities of the proposed rule and its supporting documents, it was essential that EPA allow more time to consider the issues it raises,” Mulhern said. “NMPF appreciates that the agency has allowed the time needed to clarify these issues.”

EPA extended the comment period on the regulation 90 days, until October 20.

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.

Submitted to BARN Media by:

Christopher Galen

SVP, Communications

National Milk Producers Federation

2101 Wilson Blvd.  Suite 400

Arlington, VA 22201

703-243-6111 ext. 356

www.nmpf.org

 

 

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05-15-14 *NMPF News* 177 House Members Urge the Obama Administration To Remove EU Trade Barriers Hampering U.S. Dairy Industry…

Posted by Brian Allmer on May 15, 2014

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

(Washington, DC, May 15, 2014) – A bipartisan group of 177 members of the U.S. House of Representatives today urged the Obama administration to use the transatlantic trade talks with the European Union (EU) to address a variety of export barriers hampering the U.S. dairy industry. Among the barriers are the EU’s recent efforts to prevent U.S. companies from using common food names like parmesan and feta in export markets, including the EU, and even in the U.S. domestic market.

The Congressional Dairy Farmer Caucus co-chairs, led by Reps. Reid Ribble and Peter Welch, spearheaded the letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. In that message House members said negotiations with the European Union over the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) offer a good opportunity to address protectionist measures that block U.S. dairy sales to 500 million consumers. “We urge you to achieve a strong and beneficial outcome for the U.S. dairy industry in these trade negotiations,” the letter said.

The House members noted that EU dairy tariffs, which average roughly three times the level of U.S. dairy tariffs, have contributed to the $1.3 billion trade deficit for U.S. dairy products. “While the EU enjoys a country-specific tariff rate quota for dairy access into the U.S. market, the U.S. has no such similar preferential access to EU countries,” they said. “Furthermore, while U.S. certification requirements for the vast majority of EU dairy products are relatively nominal, EU certificate requirements for dairy products are more extensive, impeding U.S. access into the EU market.” EU non-tariff barriers are a major impediment for U.S. imports.

Also in the letter, House members singled out EU efforts to restrict the use of many common food names – including a number of cheese names used in this country for decades, such as parmesan and potentially havarti – under the guise of geographical indication regulations. “The EU is taking a mechanism that was created to protect consumers against misleading information and instead using it to carve out exclusive market access for its own producers,” they said. “This type of barrier to trade and commerce defies the fundamental goals of a trade agreement, and we urge you to work aggressively against the EU’s efforts ….”

With the exception of the EU market, U.S. dairy exports have risen dramatically across the globe in recent years, reaching $6.7 billion in 2013 and accounting for more than 15 percent of domestic milk production. The congressional letter noted that foreign markets now account for one day of milking every week. “This dynamic helps support good American jobs in rural areas all across the country,” the letter said.

The Congressional Dairy Farmer Caucus has been an active and leading voice on dairy trade issues. The other co-chairs joining Reps. Ribble and Welch on the letter include Bruce Braley, Joe Courtney, Tom Petri, David Valadao, and Tim Walz.

http://www.nmpf.org/latest-news/press-releases/may-2014/177-house-members-urge-obama-administration-remove-eu-trade

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.

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05-08-14 Inside the RMFU with Bob Kjelland, the NEW Director of Communications…

Posted by Brian Allmer on May 8, 2014


To listen to the interview with RMFU’s NEW Director of Communications, click the mp3 audio link below…

050814_RMFU-BobKjelland_11m15s

Bob Kjelland RMFU Dir of Communications

Bob Kjellan, RMFU’s Director of Communications

(BARN Media & CoAgNews Network – Briggsdale, CO) May 8th, 2014 – On this month’s edition of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union’s Radioline Report inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network I will be visiting with RMFU’s NEW Director of Communications Bob Kjelland. Kjelland discusses several topics including:

  • Kjellands Background
  • 2014 Farm Bill Explanation Tour RECAP
  • 2014 RMFU Summer Camps this June
  • RMFU’s sponsorship of CO FFA awards/events
  • & MORE

The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union: Serving family farming and ranching since 1907…Learn more online @ www.rmfu.org

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03-04-14 Inside the RMFU with President Kent Peppler…Gov’s Forum, CO Ag Hall of Fame, NFU Convention & MORE…

Posted by Brian Allmer on March 4, 2014

Kent Peppler RMFU President

(BARN Media & CoAgNews Network – Briggsdale, CO) February 4th, 2014 – Joining me Inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network for this month’s Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Radioline Report is RMFU President Kent Peppler of Mead, CO, discussing several topics including: the Farm Bill, CO Legislative Issues & much more…

To listen to the interview with RMFU President Kent Peppler, click the mp3 audio link below…

030414_RMFU-Peppler_10m23s

To learn more about the Rocky Mountain Farmers Uinion – CLICK HERE

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02-27-14 NMPF Statement on Proposed FDA Food Labeling Regulations…

Posted by Brian Allmer on February 27, 2014

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

NMPF Chief Operating Officer Jim Mulhern will take over as President & Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2014.

NMPF Chief Operating Officer Jim Mulhern

From Jim Mulhern, President and Chief Executive Officer, NMPF:

“As we review the details of today’s announcement on proposed food label changes, we are open to improvements that will help consumers make informed choices.

We applaud the provision to highlight a food’s dietary contribution of potassium and vitamin D – two nutrients most Americans are not consuming enough of. Milk is a great source of those, as well as two other key nutrients, calcium and protein, that are already highlighted on the current nutrition facts panel. This change will help consumers better understand the important role that dairy plays in a healthy diet.

There are some parts of the proposal that need greater clarification, such as the definition of ‘added sugars,’ and we look forward to working with the FDA to address these issues.”

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.

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02-27-14 NMPF News: U.S. Dairy Organizations Say Trans-Pacific Trade Deal Must Further Open Japan, Canada to Exports…

Posted by Brian Allmer on February 27, 2014

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

The ongoing – and so far, inconclusive negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), must result in the free trade of dairy products between the United States, Canada and Japan, according to organizations representing America’s dairy farmers, processors and exporters. The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) also say progress on market access into those two markets has been frustratingly slow, and U.S. negotiators shouldn’t allow the process to drag on indefinitely.

The statement by the U.S. dairy groups follows ministerial-level meetings in Singapore this week on several contentious, yet-to-be resolved issues, including resistance by Canada and Japan to allow further market access for “sensitive” sectors, including dairy imports. The TPP involves a significant number of markets bordering the Pacific Ocean, including the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern noted, “The U.S. dairy industry is prepared to eliminate all tariffs affecting dairy trade with Canada and Japan, as long as they do the same. If Japan and Canada are not willing to make an effort and offer realistic market access to the U.S., then they are not serious about being part of TPP.”

“It is time to finish the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, including resolving the treatment of agricultural trade,” said Tom Suber, president of USDEC. “The principle of creating comprehensive market access is too important to this and future trade agreements. Therefore, if Japan and Canada are not committed to this goal, we need to move forward without them.”

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02-05-14 Inside the RMFU with President Kent Peppler…Farm Bill, CO Legislative Issues & MUCH MORE…

Posted by Brian Allmer on February 5, 2014

Kent Peppler RMFU President

(BARN Media & CoAgNews Network – Briggsdale, CO) January 5th, 2014 – Joining me Inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network for this month’s Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Radioline Report is RMFU President Kent Peppler of Mead, CO, discussing several topics including: the Farm Bill, CO Legislative Issues & much more…

To listen to the interview with RMFU President Kent Peppler, click the mp3 audio link below…

020514_RMFU-Peppler_14m28s

To learn more about the Rocky Mountain Farmers Uinion – CLICK HERE

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01-27-14 NMPF Statement on Completion of Farm Bill Dairy Title…

Posted by Brian Allmer on January 27, 2014

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

From Jim Mulhern, President and Chief Executive Officer, NMPF:

“Over the past week, NMPF has worked with agriculture leaders in the House and Senate to develop a margin insurance program that will offer dairy farmers an effective safety net in the absence of the market stabilization component featured in our original program.

“That process is now complete. Despite its limitations, we believe the revised program will help address the volatility in farmers’ milk prices, as well as feed costs, and provide appropriate signals to help address supply and demand.

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12-05-13 Inside the RMFU with President Kent Peppler…Farm Bill, Convention, 2013 Recap, 2014 Preview & MORE…

Posted by Brian Allmer on December 5, 2013

Kent Peppler RMFU President

(BARN Media & CoAgNews Network – Briggsdale, CO) December 5th, 2013  – Joining me Inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network for this month’s Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Radioline Report is RMFU President Kent Peppler of Mead, CO, discussing several topics including: the Farm Bill, the recent RMFU Convention and Peppler will also take a look back at 2013 and a look ahead at 2014 from his perspective for the RMFU…

To listen to the interview with RMFU President Kent Peppler, click the mp3 audio link below…

120513_RMFU-Peppler_9m

To learn more about the Rocky Mountain Farmers Uinion – CLICK HERE

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11-26-13 *NMPF News* New Congressional Analysis of Farm Bill Finds Senate Dairy Title Costs Less than House Version…

Posted by Brian Allmer on November 26, 2013

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

ARLINGTON, VA – A recent analysis by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the competing House and Senate farm bills shows that the Senate’s dairy program costs less than the House version, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said today, helping fortify the case for the Senate‘s dairy title as negotiations continue in the congressional farm bill committee.

The House farm bill’s dairy title is projected to cost $418 million above the baseline, according to the CRS report released in October, while the Senate dairy program costs $302 million more over the next ten years. [These figures are in Tables 4 and 5 of the report, starting on p. 22].

Incoming NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern said Tuesday that the CRS report – the first to compare the two competing farm bill versions that conferees are attempting to reconcile – buttresses the point that NMPF has been making about the need to couple margin insurance with a market stabilization program, as the Senate bill does, to achieve cost controls.

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11-13-13 *NMPF News* Incoming Head of Dairy Farmer Group Urges More Grassroots Engagement…

Posted by Brian Allmer on November 13, 2013

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

The more engagement members have, the more that can be achieved, Mulhern says

PHOENIX – The incoming president of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) urged dairy farmers today to become more engaged in the organization and the policymaking process.

“We need your financial commitment, yes,” Chief Operating Officer Jim Mulhern told nearly 1,000 attendees at the organization’s annual meeting. “But even more importantly, we need your time and effort and engagement. The more engagement our members have … the more our organization can achieve for our members. It’s a virtuous circle.”

Mulhern will take over as NMPF president and CEO January 1, 2014, when long-time leader Jerry Kozak retires. The organization is the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers in Washington.

“30 years ago,” Mulhern said, “NMPF, like many organizations, could be a neatly defined hierarchy, and be successful….But not anymore.” Today, he said, both NMPF and the entire dairy industry must be more engaged in the free and rapid flow of information.

“If there’s a message I can leave with you today, it’s that the future of NMPF is not a function of what I want … or any one leader,” he said. “Rather, the successful future of NMPF will be a function of the active engagement that our board, our delegates and, yes, our grassroots members, have in the organization and the industry.”

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11-13-13 Head of Milk Producer Group Criticizes House Dairy Title as Costly to Taxpayers, a Bonanza for Processors and Not Good for Farmers…

Posted by Brian Allmer on November 13, 2013

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

Chair of National Milk Producers Federation Speaks at Group’s Annual Meeting in Phoenix

PHOENIX – The head of the nation’s dairy farmer organization today blasted the dairy provisions in the pending House farm bill as costly to taxpayers, a bonanza for processors and not what’s needed to help farmers. The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), the voice of more than 32,000 dairy farmers in Washington, is wrapping up its annual meeting at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel.

Speaking at the meeting, board chair Randy Mooney, of Rogersville, Missouri, said the House of Representatives was dangerously close to repeating the mistakes of the early 1980s, when the federal dairy safety net was “far too generous.”

In those days, Mooney said, “you had to work at it to lose money milking cows.” Farmers produced more milk than the market could absorb, letting Washington buy up the rest. “The USDA became the largest single customer that farmers had,” Mooney said. “We spent most of the rest of the ’80s paring down the structural surplus that was created because Congress wanted to help us…to a fault.”

Today, Mooney said, “we are in the dangerous position of repeating history because certain people in Congress are forgetting the lessons of the past.” The House, he said, has voted for a new subsidy for dairy farmers modeled on crop insurance but with no mechanism to limit costs when the economy slows down.

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10-30-13 NMPF Urges Farm Bill Conferees to Include Senate’s Dairy Security Act in Final Measure…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 30, 2013

NMPF-National Milk Producers Federation logo 2

From Jim Mulhern, Chief Operating Officer, NMPF:

“At long last, the House and Senate are poised to finish their work on a final farm bill package. For America’s dairy farmers, this is no time for a game of congressional trick or treat. The final product must provide farmers real stability, and not be a costumed disguise that masks the serious problems that will result if the House dairy program were enacted.

“The Senate’s bipartisan Dairy Security Act is the only option that will provide help to farmers when they need it most, while also limiting taxpayers’ exposure through its market stabilization mechanism. It’s an important safety net to farmers when they need it, and not an underfunded liability to the government when the program is in operation.

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