Agriculture Chairwoman Stabenow Encourages Dairy Farmers to Enroll in New Farm Bill Program Before Next Weeks Deadline
Risk Management Program Protects Producers from Sudden Economic ChallengesWednesday, November 26, 2014
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, encouraged Michigan dairy farmers to register by Dec. 5 for a new dairy risk management program made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The program gives Michigan farmers the certainty and tools they need to continue supplying milk products to consumers in Michigan and across the country.
The enrollment period for the new dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP), which is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, began on Sept. 2 and will end on Dec. 5. The program offers participating farmers assistance if milk prices fall below profitable margins due to unexpected circumstances beyond their control.
Dairy is one of Michigan's largest agricultural commodities, and exports of Michigan dairy products have more than doubled over the last ten years. The MPP was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, which was authored by Sen. Stabenow and signed into law in Michigan earlier this year. Farmers can register for the MPP at their local Farm Service Agency Office.
"We cannot afford to have our Michigan dairy farmers go bankrupt when there are sudden market swings, which is why we put together this new program," said Stabenow. "I strongly encourage dairy producers in Michigan and nationwide to register by December 5 in-person or using the new tool developed by Michigan State University. Michigan families need a reliable supply of dairy products at the grocery store, and that means we need to make sure Michigan's farmers can keep producing some of the very best dairy products in the United States."
Ken Nobis, President, Michigan Milk Producers Association: "The Margin Protection Program included in the 2014 Farm Bill is a much needed replacement of an outdated mechanism that failed to address the basic concept of a safety net in today's global economy. I join Senator Stabenow in encouraging Michigan's dairy farmers to move quickly to take advantage of this new resource."
A new, innovative web tool developed in part by Michigan State University was launched in conjunction with MPP to help Michigan dairy producers enroll in the program and make decisions based on their own unique needs and operations. The web tool, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool, provides a series of interactive features allowing producers to review historical data as well as future projections to make decisions that make the most sense for them.