Reforming dairy programs in the next farm bill was the topic for the House Ag Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Thursday. Witnesses discussed problems with current programs and provided feedback on proposals being considered to address those inadequacies. Economic analysis of policies under discussion was provided by University of Missouri Assistant Research Professor Dr. Scott Brown. Subcommittee Chair Thomas Rooney says the dairy audit hearing last fall provided a sense for the inadequacy of some of the existing dairy programs. He says innovative ideas are needed in order to ensure programs support producers, facilitate product and market development and continue to maintain the availability of safe, abundant and affordable product for consumers. Rooney says it was critical to receive the economic analysis to understand how new recommendations would work and what their impacts would be.
Subcommittee Ranking Member Dennis Cardoza says policymakers need to be sensitive to the different geographical challenges and work to craft a consensus package that meets the needs of most – if not all. He says facts and data should drive the discussion as a solution is crafted that will smooth out the roller coaster of highs and lows.