As the Farm Bill Conference Committee works to craft a final Farm Bill in the final days of the current session of Congress, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called on President Trump to only support a Farm Bill that includes a refund for the failed Dairy Margin Protection Program and puts money back into the pockets of New York dairy farmers.
“Our dairy farmers have been suffering from abysmally low milk prices, unfair trade policies, and a failed insurance system for too long, which is why I fought to get $73 million in the Farm Bill for our dairy producers. The Farm Bill is our chance to finally fix some of these problems, and I urge President Trump to only support a final bill that includes my Dairy Premium Refund Act that would issue a refund to farmers who participated in the failed Dairy Margin Protection Program,” said Senator Gillibrand. “President Trump should reject any Farm Bill that comes to his desk that doesn’t give our dairy farmers the support and protection they urgently need. I will always do everything I can to continue fighting for our dairy farmers, and I urge my colleagues and the President to do the same.”
The Dairy Margin Protection Program (DMPP) is the main insurance option for dairy farmers to protect their revenue when the price they receive for their milk falls or feed costs rise. Since 2014, thousands of New York dairy farmers paid millions of dollars to the USDA for this coverage, but when milk prices and feed prices fell at the same time, most farmers lost money on every pound of milk they sold and never received a payment.
The bipartisan Farm Bill passed by the Senate in July included Gillibrand drafted provision that would secure $73 million for dairy farmers who paid millions of dollars into an insurance program that did not help them when milk prices dropped. This provision would ensure that dairy farmers automatically receive a refund check for any MPP insurance premium funds not used to pay claims to them ?during the previous year. Currently, these remaining funds are returned to the U.S. Department of Treasury rather than to the farmers who paid them.