Testimony highlights Stabenow’s efforts to improve support for Michigan milk producers in the short-term and in the 2018 Farm Bill
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry, invited Michigan dairy farmer Ken Nobis, president of the Michigan Milk Producers Association, to share the perspective of the state’s dairy producers at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. The hearing convened a total of 17 witnesses from across the country to collect feedback from agricultural experts ahead of the drafting of the 2018 Farm Bill.
“Dairy is Michigan’s number one commodity, and improving support for our state’s milk producers is one of my top priorities in the upcoming Farm Bill,” said Stabenow. “As an outspoken advocate for Michigan dairy farmers, Ken’s perspective provided Congress with invaluable insights for how we can help our producers in the short and long term.”
“I appreciated the opportunity to share my testimony with the Senate Agriculture Committee,” said Nobis. “During the hearing, I discussed the shortcomings of the dairy safety net known as the Margin Protection Program (MPP), and urged lawmakers to fix the program and provide improved dairy insurance options as well.”
In addition to making commitments to address the dairy safety net in the 2018 Farm Bill, Stabenow has pushed for immediate improvements to provide more certainty for dairy farmers. Most recently, Stabenow worked closely with the Appropriations Committee to secure a bipartisan agreement to increase support for dairy farmers through appropriations legislation. Not only does the bill make important interim improvements to MPP, it also sets the stage to continue repairing the dairy safety net in the Farm Bill. Earlier this year, Stabenow urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to use existing authority to expand the crop insurance options available to dairy farmers.
“We are grateful to Senator Stabenow for her continuing efforts to make improvements across the board for dairy farmers. The changes made in the recent Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill provide a major step forward to make the dairy safety net more reliable for our farmers,” said Nobis.