September 27, 2007

Local Dairy Farmer Delivers Farm Bill Message To Capitol Hill

Kansas City, MO - Larry Frederick, a local dairy farmer from Baring, Mo., met with legislators and discussed the 2007 Farm Bill, AgJOBS and other dairy issues in Washington, D.C. on September 6. As a member of Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA), Frederick joined more than 45 other DFA board members as they thanked members of the U.S. House of Representatives that supported the farm bill and expressed the urgency of completing a farm bill this year to their senators.

Frederick farms 1,000 acres with his sons, Matt and Stan. They milk 88 Holsteins, raise beef cows and grow corn, soybeans, alfalfa and grass hay. During his trip to Capitol Hill he met with Representatives Sam Graves (R-6th MO) and Ike Skelton (D-4th MO) and the offices of Representative Kenny Hulshof (R-9th MO) and Senators Kit Bond (R-MO) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

The Senate will be discussing the farm bill this fall and Frederick stressed the importance of measures in the bill.

"Traveling to Washington, D.C. and delivering our message is important to the dairy industry," Frederick says. "As dairy farmers we need our elected officials to understand the issues that directly affect our farms. They need to know why we support the House version of the farm bill and why AgJOBS is so important to our industry."

DFA supports key points in the 2007 Farm Bill including: Dairy Price Support, Milk Producer Security and Risk Management programs; expansions for Nutrition, Public and Animal Health, and Export Incentive and Promotion programs; improvements in conservation programs; and the addition of renewable energy provisions and a promotion assessment on imports.

In addition to the farm bill, Frederick also highlighted other critical issues facing the dairy industry including AgJOBS, the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Clean Water Act:

AgJOBS - DFA encourages lawmakers to support the enactment of the bipartisan immigration legislation related to agricultural workers, Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits, and Security Act of 2007. AgJOBS has been reintroduced into the Senate and House of Representatives with broad support as S. 340 and H.R. 371.

CERCLA - Clarification is needed that the Superfund Law was not intended to apply to animal agriculture. DFA members and staff asked members of Congress to co-sponsor House Bill 1398 and Senate Bill 807.

Water Bill - This legislation would result in the greatest expansion of the Clean Water Act (CWA) since the law took effect in 1972. The proposal moves the CWA beyond protecting wetlands and waterways and transforms it into a vehicle for regulating virtually every wet area in the nation, from ditches to gutters to possibly even groundwater. DFA opposes the changes to CWA that enforce the regulation of all wet areas.

While in Washington, Frederick also participated in a DFA board meeting. The Board of Directors oversees the business affairs of the cooperative. Members are elected by delegates during an annual meeting and serve a two-year term. There are 48 directors from seven regional areas. In addition, three directors represent cooperatives that are members of the Association.

Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. is a dairy marketing cooperative that serves and is owned by more than 19,000 dairy farmers in 49 states. DFA is one of the country's most diversified manufacturers of dairy products, food components and ingredients, and is a leader in formulating and packaging shelf-stable dairy products. For more information, call 1-888-DFA-MILK (332-6455) or visit www.dfamilk.com.

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