NMPF to form strategic planning task force to examine solutions to dairy challenges
Group to review factors affecting farm prices, suggest means for improvement
The National Milk Producers Federation, in response to the ongoing severe economic challenges facing the dairy producer community, will create a special strategic task force to examine those challenges and suggest possible solutions, NMPF announced May 11.
The task force will be led by NMPF's members, but will reach out to other dairy producer organizations that are not members of the Federation, including those organizations that participate in the Cooperatives Working Together program. The purpose of the task force is to build consensus across the dairy industry about both the nature of the causes affecting producer prices and ways the industry can realistically work to address the price crunch.
"Dairy farmers from coast to coast are looking for ideas that can help them not only weather the current economic storm, but also bring less volatility to dairy prices in the years ahead," said Randy Mooney, chairman of NMPF and a dairy farmer from Rogersville, Mo. "Our new task force will allow for open discussion and a dialogue with others, with the goal of achieving a common understanding of how to best tackle the twin problems of low milk prices and high input costs."
The agenda for the strategic planning task force will include an examination of how CWT's role might change in helping manage dairy supply; consideration of methods to create incentives to stimulate the domestic production of new products, such as casein; expanding on the success of the CWT export assistance to create new markets for U.S. milk; and an assessment of methods to implement production controls on U.S. dairy producers.
The task force will also examine the effectiveness of current government dairy safety net programs, such as the Milk Income Loss Contract program and the dairy product price support program, both of which were revised in the 2008 farm bill.
"This new task force will allow for a structured means of reviewing our options, both for improving demand as well as managing supply, and help move us towards workable solutions both now and in the future," said Jerry Kozak, president and CEO of NMPF. "There's no shortage right now of concepts for new self-help programs, or ideas for what Congress and the administration ought to be doing. If we're to be effective, however, we need detailed discussions about practical options that the entire dairy producer community can support," he said.
The NMPF Strategic Planning Task Force will be appointed at the June 10 NMPF board meeting, with the goal of having an initial meeting shortly thereafter.
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 31 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 40,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies.