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Industry News

Read coverage of current events and news affecting dairy producers and the industry.

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Though dairy producers would like to forget 2009, it’s still the center of attention when talking about reforming dairy policy. The severity of depressed milk prices and feed margins in 2009 makes it the extreme case study to test just how intrusive a proposed supply management program would be for U.S. producers.

Since the beginning of the year, three different reports have been released analyzing the effect of the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP) on producers in 2009. DMSP would establish a temporary milk production base when the margin between milk price and feed cost narrows.

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Representatives of the U.S. dairy industry announced an agreement to work jointly with a national energy research laboratory to advance the science and best management practices of renewable energy, environmental stewardship and life cycle analysis of dairy systems and processes.

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, the Dairy Research Institute and Idaho’s Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) are working to develop a national research program focused on enhancing the economic viability of dairy farms and rural communities.

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Since the first of the year, more than 180 dairy producers across the Midwest have gone to Midwest Dairy Association’s Producer Service Center for help with their promotion needs. More importantly, the materials and services they received helped them reach more than 70,000 consumers.

With June Dairy Month approaching, access to what the Center offers becomes even more important. Dairy farm families hosting events or helping industry partners honor the industry have a direct line to free items that range from “I Met a Dairy Farmer” stickers to plastic sheeting for parade floats, fact sheets about farm practices, and camera-ready graphics and copy for advertisements. Other free items include recipe brochures, videos, exhibit booths and a coloring pad for kids.

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Central Valley dairymen and two dairy nutrition companies recently gave a helping hand to a Visalia soup kitchen and Christian social service organization.

The Visalia Rescue Mission held its second annual Empty Bowls fundraiser dinner in Tulare County, California, in March. Diamond V and Nutrius sponsored the event and invited their local dairy clients to buy a ticket and attend. A minimum donation of $25 was required for a ticket.

Jessica Van Ginkel, community development director for the Visalia Rescue Mission, says ticket sales and donations helped raise more than $12,000 for the center. Some gave more than the requested $25 ticket price.

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Last month PETA took aim at the dairy industry. On the heels of Mercy for Animals’ footage of animal abuse on a Texas calf ranch, the activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released its own set of standards of care for animals raised on dairy farms.

Based on comments received on the news release regarding the standards, not everyone agrees with PETA's position. Click here to read the comments.

In an interview with Progressive Dairyman, PETA’s Corporate Liaison Amber Driscoll said the standards are aimed at the dairy industry from farms to processors to end users.

“PETA is asking responsible companies who don’t want to be associated with this type of cruelty to adopt these minimum standards of care,” Driscoll said.

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The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), Growth Energy, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) today praised the legislation offered by a bipartisan group of senators, led by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, to responsibly transition and transform current ethanol tax policy.

This legislation would reduce the current blender’s credit, also known as VEETC, for a two year period before transitioning to a tax credit that would adjust based on the price of oil. Importantly, this legislation would also improve upon current tax credits for the installation of blender pumps and ethanol fueling infrastructure. Additionally, the bill would extend tax credits for small ethanol producers as well as for advanced and cellulosic ethanol.

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