Dairy producers from National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) member cooperatives urged Congress to create greater opportunities for enhanced environmental stewardship, promote exports and craft farm bill programs that aid dairy farmers of all sizes in all regions in a listening session held yesterday at California State University, Fresno by Rep. Jim Costa, D-CA.
Melvin Medeiros, a Dairy Farmers of America producer from Laton, CA, and Joey Fernandes, a Land O’Lakes producer from Tulare, CA, spoke in the listening session as part of a series the House Agriculture Committee is holding nationwide as it examines issues to be addressed in the upcoming Farm Bill. Both farmers are members of NMPF’s Board of Directors; Medeiros sits on the organization’s executive committee as well.
“From water issues, to trade, to sustainability, to providing an adequate safety net to producers of all sizes, the farmers who own NMPF’s member cooperatives are critical to conversations that affect all of agriculture in the next Farm Bill and beyond,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “We commend Melvin and Joey for sharing their insights and thank Rep. Costa for making sure that dairy’s voice is heard as the next Farm Bill begins taking shape.”
Yesterday’s session follows a similar session hosted last month in Arizona by Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-AZ. At that event, United Dairymen of Arizona member Jim Boyle emphasized the need for more equitable treatment of dairy farmers of all sizes, including in pandemic relief programs to reimburse dairy farmers for unique COVID-19 losses. The next House Agriculture listening session is July 22 in Carnation, Washington.
The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. NMPF’s member cooperatives produce more than two-thirds of U.S. milk, making NMPF dairy’s voice on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more, visit www.nmpf.org.