The Dairy Policy Action Coalition (DPAC) observed its first year of existence Monday evening, Dec. 13 with a thank you dinner and meeting for the Cream of the Crop businesses that have helped DPAC fund its beginnings in 2010 and its ongoing grassroots efforts. U.S. Congressman Joe Pitts, State Senator Mike Brubaker, and State Representative Gordon Denlinger were on hand for the event, which was held in East Earl, Pa. through the generosity of E-Zee Milking Equipment and Bernard C. Morrissey. Look for a report in the Dec. 31 edition of Farmshine. Below are the remarks given by DPAC chairman Cliff Hawbaker as he reflected on 2010 and the preparation to forge ahead in 2011.
By CLIFF HAWBAKER, DPAC chairman
The Dairy Policy Action Coalition (DPAC) formed November 19, 2009. It started from the grassroots of dairy producers and will continue from the grassroots. DPAC is focused on active participation, with a unified voice, on the policies and issues affecting milk pricing.
The first year was spent working on a few specific issues that producers agree on and in building a grassroots network across the country. “Daily electronic reporting” was the first big emphasis in keeping with DPAC’s focus on market transparency and price discovery, which are a major concern for dairy farmers large and small; east to west.
The daily reporting effort was partially successful with Congress passing “weekly” electronic reporting in September. DPAC will continue working with members of Congress on price- and volume-reporting that is daily. We were successful in getting the attention of lawmakers, as well as National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).
At our first meeting in November 2009, we organized as a community of dairy producers coming together for the benefit of the greater community of dairy producers.
One main issue that surfaced was the milk pricing system is complicated, cumbersome, and a broken system. This echoes the sentiment of dairy producers all across America. In reality it is a regulated pricing system not a market pricing system.
Producers have little confidence in the current system and no confidence at all in the CME that drives our milk price.
DPAC views milk markets as global, national and regional. Instead of pursuing a one-size-fits-all centralized approach, we are reaching out as a coalition to work with producers and producer groups on a region-by-region basis. Full Story