The House Agriculture Committee vote on the Goodlatte-Scott Amendment Wednesday served as a relief for amendment opposition, including the National Milk Producers Federation—but supporters of the amendment aren't so happy.
The amendment, which was proposed by Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and David Scott (D-Ga.), would have removed the Market Stabilization Program (also referred to as supply management) from the Dairy Security Act in the House version Farm Bill. It was defeated by a vote of 29-17.
Removal would have meant that farmers would not be given the choice to elect in a market stabilization program.
Although participation is voluntary, a debated sticking point in the proposed DSA is the requirement of participating farmers to periodically alter their milk output when poor market conditions arise.
NMPF was pleased with the vote to eliminate the amendment and retain current bill language. They said the amendment would have "undone years of consensus-building and compromise among dairy farmers."
Chuck Conner, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, which also opposed the amendment, said severing market stabilization from the rest of the reforms leaves the safety net for dairy farmers "woefully incomplete." He said the amendment would cost the American taxpayer millions of dollars over the next decade if approved.
The International Dairy Foods Association led the charge to approve the amendment and remove the program, reporting that the Market Stabilization aspect of the DSA would increase consumer prices and hurt dairy exports.