Video of Congressman Costa speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives today in support of the Dairy Price Stabilization Act can be viewed here.
Costa was joined by four other Members of Congress from across the country in introducing the bill, including Congressmen Peter Welch (D-VT), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Rick Larsen (D-WA), and John B. Larson (D-CT).
“After the worst year in recent memory, the time for comprehensive dairy reform legislation has arrived,” said Rep. Joe Courtney. “I am pleased to join with Congressman Costa and others on this effort that will help stabilize dairy markets and protect our farming families.”
“The Washington state dairy industry is the tenth largest in the nation. The 128 dairy farms in Whatcom County, in my district, produce the 2nd greatest amount of milk in the state,” said Rep. Rick Larsen. “This means many local jobs and hardworking families depend on stability in the dairy industry. Every day, countless farmers and families throughout my district suffer through the roller coaster that is the dairy market.
“Rep. Costa’s bill makes important steps toward stabilizing the price of milk, which is a top priority for dairy farmers. While I recognize this is only a first step in responding to the concerns that dairy farmers have around the country, this is an important step, and I am happy to support Rep. Costa’s legislation today.”
“Continuing volatility within the dairy industry has devastated Vermont’s hardworking family farmers and their counterparts across the country. We have responded with important short-term support measures, but we must not delay in finding a path to long term reform,” said Rep. Peter Welch. “This bill sets an important marker as we find consensus within the industry about how to ensure the survival and prosperity of dairy.”
Added Rep. John B. Larson, “I believe in reward for a hard day’s work. But, because of the volatility in milk prices, small dairy farmers in Connecticut, New England, and throughout our nation have been denied a decent living. We need to bring commonsense reform to the market that protects the livelihood of our small dairy farmers, and the food that average Americans put on their table.”
Source: Office of Congressman Jim Costa
There is far from industry consensus on this bill, which is modeled after the Holstein Association’s Growth Management plan. The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) does not support the bill. NMPF continues to refine its Foundation for the Future program to strengthen and stabilize milk prices and revamp the milk pricing system. – Megan Pierce, associate editor