Ohio meetings to help navigate new dairy program

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Dairy and agriculture economists and policy experts with Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences will hold meetings across the state as part of an effort to help farmers learn more about the 2014 farm bill and how it can impact dairy producers.

The meetings are designed to help farmers and producers understand the intricacies of the new farm bill and help answer questions in order to make informed decisions about participating in some of the new farm bill programs, said Dianne Shoemaker, an Ohio State University Extension field specialist in dairy economics. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.

Shoemaker, along with Cameron Thraen, an associate professor in the CFAES Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics will present information on the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (DMPP) during meetings for dairy producers.

DMPP is a new national voluntary dairy safety net program. With the passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014, the U.S. federal dairy farm safety net underwent the most comprehensive reform that the program has seen in decades.

Though the USDA plans to launch the DMPP program by Sept. 1, the Farm Service Agency has been charged with devising the rules and administering the program, Shoemaker said.

"This is a major change for dairy farmers," she said. "Every farm is going to have to make a decision as to whether they will participate or not. But you can't make a sound decision if you don't understand how the program works and what it means for your farm under different feed and milk prices."

The dairy producer meetings will be held from 9: 30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on:

• Sept. 3 at Romer's St. Henry, 321 South Eastern Ave., St. Henry, Ohio.  Registration is $15 with a deadline of Aug. 29 to register.

• Sept. 11 at Mahoning County Experimental Farm, 7475 Columbiana-Canfield Rd., Canfield, Ohio. Registration is $15 with a deadline of Sept. 4 to register.

• Sept. 15 at the OARDC Shisler Center, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, Ohio.  Registration is $15 with a deadline of Sept. 8 to register.

Additional information about upcoming programs and on-line resources is available at http://dairy.osu.edu.



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