"We propose a new policy alternative, one we decorously label 'MILC and Hone'," Thraen said.
"This program would increase eligibility of MILC to 4 million pounds per year and allow farms an option to choose annually between MILC participation or a stand-alone margin insurance program as their elected safety net.
"Specifically our proposal is for a combined program we term MILC-Insurance."
In this proposal, farms would no longer have an incentive to opt-out of the margin insurance program and would instead opt for the no-cost dairy producer margin protection program when margins appear favorable, Thraen said.
Those farm owners satisfied with the MILC program would be able to stay enrolled in this expanded program, he said.
"If you like your MILC program and it meets your needs you can keep it," Thraen said. "This would allow all farms to participate in a government sponsored safety net program and may prevent ad-hoc disaster payments in the future."
Once the farm bill is finalized into legislation, Thraen said, the dairy team at Ohio State, in collaboration with dairy researchers at the University of Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota, and Michigan State University, will conduct workshops, provide educational materials, and launch a web-based tool to educate and help farmers to understand the new terms of the dairy title in the farm bill and make a margin insurance decision that best fits their needs.
To read Thraen's policy brief for the conference series, visit: http://go.osu.edu/Ycv.