Stabenow Leads Effort to Provide Relief for Michigan Dairy Farmers

Thursday, February 08, 2018

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced the U.S. Senate has reached a deal to provide immediate support for Michigan dairy farmers.


“As Michigan’s number one commodity, dairy is critically important to Michigan’s food economy,” said Senator Stabenow. “The Michigan dairy industry has been struggling because of market instability. Today’s bipartisan solution is the relief Michigan’s dairy farmers have been waiting for, providing certainty and strengthening this important part of Michigan’s economy.”


Dairy is Michigan’s top commodity, supporting 40,000 jobs and contributing over $15 billion to the state’s economy. The current Farm Bill created several new risk management tools to protect farmers from unexpected market instability. The new tool for dairy farmers, the Margin Protection Program has not worked as intended due to last minute budget cuts and implementation problems at USDA. Since 2014, dairy farmers have struggled from market uncertainty without a reliable safety net.


“This is excellent news for the dairy industry,” said Ken Nobis, president of the Michigan Milk Producers Association. “We appreciate the efforts of Senator Stabenow for her commitment to address deficiencies with the dairy safety net program. The proposed changes provide additional risk management options to assist dairy producers during these challenging economic times facing the industry.”


Senator Stabenow worked with Senate Appropriations leaders to make improvements for agriculture and led the effort to provide immediate relief for dairy producers. The Senate proposal announced today would provide immediate support for Michigan’s dairy farmers by fixing problems with the old Margin Protection Program, providing a pathway to new, customizable insurance tools, and set the stage for additional improvements in the Farm Bill.