(Extensions of Remarks - April 25, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E554-E555]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                         THE DAIRY FREEDOM ACT


                           HON. BOB GOODLATTE

                              of virginia

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, April 25, 2013

  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce the Dairy 
Freedom Act with my colleague, the gentleman from Georgia, David Scott.
  This legislation will ensure that the American public will not run 
into another ``DAIRY CLIFF.'' Last Congress, we did not get to vote on 
a Farm Bill because, among other things, there was a major problem with 
the dairy policy section.
  Every member that represents a Congressional District with dairy 
farmers is acutely aware of how our current programs failed dairy 
farmers and the hardship these families experienced. There is no single 
farm district member who disagrees on the need for fundamental reform 
of our dairy program. We all agree on the need to reform and improve 
our current dairy policies--and our bill would do just that. However, 
our bill would strike the proposed ``dairy market stabilization 
program.'' This highly controversial piece would attempt to manage the 
U.S. milk supply, and in the process penalize both consumers of dairy 
products, and dairy farmers who expand their operations. This program 
was proposed to be included in the extension of the 2008 Farm Bill--but 
it was resoundingly rejected by the House and Senate leadership. Do we 
really want to run into this wall again? I don't think so if we want to 
get a Farm Bill done this year.
  I would ask Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Peterson to include the 
Dairy Freedom Act, what we consider to be the compromise, in the 
Chairman's Mark of the Farm Bill. Our bill is largely based on the 
Dairy Security Act offered last Congress by Ranking Member Collin 
Peterson (D-MN) and is anticipated to be included again in the 
underlying Farm Bill. The only fundamental difference is that it would 
exclude the supply management program, and require more fiscally 
responsible risk management insurance premium levels for large farmers.
  Supply management runs contrary to the goals of limited government 
and economic growth. A supply control program that will directly 
intervene in markets and increase milk prices will ultimately hurt 
producers as well as dairy food manufacturers by stifling industry 
growth. A national dairy policy that allows the market to determine 
prices paid--with the addition of a new risk management tool such as 
Margin Protection Insurance--will help dairy producers withstand 
unforeseen market conditions. This is no different than how other 
commodities are treated in the Farm Bill.
  Our bill also represents a true compromise on dairy policy. We agree 
that our dairy programs need to be reformed and we have accepted over 
80% of the proposals that have been made by Ranking Member Collin 
Peterson. We agree a strong safety net is needed for dairy farmers. 
What we reject is the idea that government also needs to intervene in 
dairy markets by controlling milk production, and ultimately milk 
  Many have labeled the disagreement about supply management as a fight 
between dairy producers and dairy processors. The truth, however, is 
that because supply management programs are designed to have government 
artificially manipulate prices, they are opposed by a wide variety of 
groups. Consumer advocates point out that increased dairy prices mean 
families will be forced to stretch their food budgets further, and 
perhaps purchase less nutritious products than dairy. Food 
manufacturers, retailers and restaurants know that increased dairy 
prices will hurt their businesses as well. And, finally, all of our 

[[Page E555]]

non-cooperative owned dairy exporters agree that supply management will 
have a negative impact on their ability to be reliable suppliers in the 
world market.
  Dairy regulations are complex, outdated and inefficient. Proposed 
reforms in the Farm Bill should not reduce exports, cut jobs, and add 
more regulations. The Dairy Title should allow the dairy industry a 
chance to compete and grow without government regulating the amount of 
milk a farmer can produce. Our citizens and the world population 
deserve an abundant, affordable and sustainable food supply.
  Mr. David Scott and I have developed a viable, bipartisan 
alternative. Join us to support a revenue insurance program that will 
help dairy producers without including a government controlled supply 
management program.