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Industry News

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

LATEST

Dairy checkoff-led efforts are changing lactose intolerance attitudes and behaviors among physicians, resulting in an additional 276 million pounds of increased consumption of dairy among self-described lactose intolerant consumers, according to a health and wellness study conducted in September 2011.

The Milk Opportunity Study, funded by the dairy checkoff, reveals that family physicians who recommend dairy alternatives to lactose intolerant patients have decreased by 44 percent since 2008. In addition, supermarket scanner data indicates that 1.4 million more households are purchasing lactose-free milk.

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Indiana's first new restrictions in years on factory-style livestock farms that generate large amounts of manure have disappointed activists, who say state officials spurned most of their suggestions for beefing up the rules.

The new regulations for about 2,000 of Indiana's largest livestock farms were approved earlier this month by a state panel. They take effect next July.

State officials contend the updated rules, which replace restrictions approved six years ago, will provide significant new protections for groundwater and surface water.

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The Virginia Farm Bureau is discussing plans to lobby the 2012 General Assembly for a constitutional amendment to limit the government's ability to take private land.

Both chambers of the Virginia legislature approved a constitutional amendment in the 2011 session to make changes to the state's eminent domain law. If approved in the 2012 session, it would be on the ballot for voters' consideration.

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A new video,“U.S. Dairy Farmers Care,” tells the story of dairy farmers and their commitment to their animals, the environment, local communities and consumers. Merck Animal Health, a company committed to the success of dairy farmers, created the three-minute, animated video to help dairy farmers share their positive stories with non-agricultural audiences.

“This video pays tribute to the more than 55,000 dairy farm families dedicated to providing our country and the world with high-quality, nutritious milk and dairy foods,” said Rick Cozzitorto, dairy marketing manager for Merck Animal Health. “And, they do so while caring for their animals, reducing the environmental footprint of dairy production and contributing to our local economies.”

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Attracting a processing plant that would support southwest Kansas dairy farms is a top priority for Kansas governor Sam Brownback's administration, but dairy industry officials say the region needs to have more cows before the effort will succeed.

More than 70,000 cows are milked daily in western Kansas, where a few dozen large dairies have opened in the last 20 years. Brownback's administration would like to attract something like a cheese factory or a milk processing plant to help the region's economy.

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Principal designer of DMSP drops its support of Dairy Security Act
In a letter to co-op members in October, Agri-Mark publicly announced its opposition to pending dairy reform legislation known as the Dairy Security Act of 2011, introduced into the house by Rep. Collin Peterson and co-sponsored by eight other House members.

The co-op renounced its previous support of NMPF’s Foundation for the Future, which was the basis for Peterson’s bill, because the current legislation does not require mandatory participation in supply management during low profit margins by all U.S. dairy farmers.

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