Farm Bill Now!

That was the message the National Milk Producers Federation encouraged delegates literally to chant at Tuesday’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

NMPF leaders have been working since 2009 to fashion major policy reforms. And, they got close – really close – to getting those reforms passed in a Farm Bill this year.

“To use a football analogy, we’re not just in the red zone, we’re first and goal,” NMPF president and CEO Jerry Kozak told delegates. “But great field position, even with the momentum that comes with a long drive, is not the same thing as putting points on the board,” he added. “All our hard work, all of our compromises and meticulous planning ― none of it matters unless we can finish the job.”

A version of the Farm Bill containing many of the features that NMFP wants, including margin protection insurance to help protect dairy producers from unfavorable swings in feed prices relative to milk prices, passed in the U.S. Senate and the House Agriculture Committee this summer but stalled in the full House.

NMPF chairman Randy Mooney told AgriTalk Radio that he's hopeful the Farm Bill will pass in the lame duck session of Congress scheduled after the Nov. 6 election.

“We’ve got a good policy that we want Congress to pass,” Mooney said. “We thought we’d have it by now, but we don’t.”

To listen to more of Mooney's interview with AgriTalk, click on the audio bar at the top of this article.