Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation: American Farm Bureau adopts dairy policy from Wisconsin

Contact: Paul Zimmerman, Executive Director of Public Affairs, 608-828-5708

Casey Langan, Director of Public Relations, 608-828-5711

ATLANTA – Ideas first proposed by a committee of Wisconsin dairy farmers are now the official stance of the largest farm organization in the United States.

On Tuesday, delegates at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta adopted a series of dairy policy directives that were originally crafted by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Dairy Committee, made up of 20 dairy farmers from across the state.

“This shows the grassroots power of Farm Bureau,” said Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Bill Bruins, a dairy farmer from Fond du Lac County. “Our members who serve on our Dairy Committee represent dairy farms of every size and management style. Together they thoughtfully came up with a list of directives that, if adopted by Congress in the 2012 farm bill, will make our dairy industry more market-driven, efficient and transparent.”

“Successful passage of these policies by Farm Bureau delegates from across the nation marks a great step for the dairy industry,” Bruins added. “This allows the force of the American Farm Bureau to advocate for these needed changes to federal dairy policy. These changes would allow our dairy industry to become a reliable supplier that can supply the world market with the products it both wants and needs.”

The approved resolutions include:

* Elimination of the federal dairy price support program.

* Enhancing price discovery by increasing the number of plans surveyed, expanding the number of products considered, speeding up the reporting of prices, and making the reporting more transparent.

* Reducing the number of classes of milk to two, and making modifications to federal milk marketing orders.

* Supporting a producer safety net program such as margin insurance.

To be considered by the American Farm Bureau, the resolutions were first adopted by delegates at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in December.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization representing farms of all sizes, commodities and management styles.