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LOOKING IN: JERRY SLOMINSKI; DAIRY LEGISLATION WILL KILL EXPORT PROGRESS.

Byline: Jerry Slominski

Regarding the March 27 My View, "Bill would stabilize dairy operations," by Wayne Palla: By adding even more regulation onto an already overregulated industry, H.R. 3062, the Dairy Security Act, takes the wrong approach to dairy policy. Although it is being sold as something new, the DSA is yet another attempt to impose government control over both the supply of and demand for milk. It will periodically establish milk quotas, enforced by taxes on dairy farmers Dairy Farmers is one of Australia's largest and oldest dairy manufacturers, established in 1900, supplying products to local and international markets such as eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. , and will once again have dairy farmers producing milk for our government instead of consumers.

Having the government limit our milk supply may seem like a good idea until you realize there are some serious consequences. Because it is designed to separate our domestic market prices from international markets, the DSA will surely derail de·rail  
intr. & tr.v. de·railed, de·rail·ing, de·rails
1. To run or cause to run off the rails.

2.
 a remarkable success story that has benefited dairy farmers and dairy companies. Just a few years ago, our country was a net importer of dairy products dairy products dairy nplproduits laitier

dairy products dairy nplMilchprodukte pl, Molkereiprodukte pl 
. Last year, we had a dairy trade surplus of nearly $2.4 billion and exports continue to grow. Dairy companies have invested in new processing facilities across our country creating thousands of new jobs and creating more demand for milk from U.S. producers.

There is a clear middle ground in this debate. Dairy food companies have endorsed a revenue margin protection program, provided that it is not attached to government supply management. Such a program could be offered by charging a small fee for a subsidized sub·si·dize  
tr.v. sub·si·dized, sub·si·diz·ing, sub·si·diz·es
1. To assist or support with a subsidy.

2. To secure the assistance of by granting a subsidy.
 base coverage. A popular USDA USDA,
n.pr See United States Department of Agriculture.
 pilot insurance program, called Livestock Gross Margin -- Dairy, should be improved with permanent funding beyond the current $20 million per year cap.

Instead of calling on government bureaucrats to manage dairy markets with all of the problems that creates, let's rely on dairy farmers to manage their own businesses. The next farm bill can help by creating better risk-management tools, including margin or catastrophic insurance products for dairy farmers. There are many dairy producers, as well as at least one of the largest dairy co-ops in the country, who agree that this is the correct path forward.

Jerry Slominski is senior vice president for Legislative and Economic Affairs International Dairy Foods Association in Washington, D.C.
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Title Annotation:Editorials
Publication:The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM)
Date:Apr 24, 2012
Words:368
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