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Industry News

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


Fate of dairy reform uncertain after Super Committee failure
Just prior to the pre-Thanksgiving failure of the Super Committee to reach an bipartisan agreement on deficit reduction, Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) addressed, via a pre-recorded video segment, dairy producers attending NMPF/DMI’s joint annual meeting in San Diego, California.

Peterson said his sponsored legislation, The Dairy Security Act of 2011, had and “as much consensus as one can get” in Washington.

During the meeting NMPF confirmed that it was not support for dairy reform, but rather reform of direct payments to ag producers for other commodities, that stressed a deal on deficit reduction for agriculture committee chairs in both the House and Senate.

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Muddy River Farm, like other Northeastern dairies impacted by strong Atlantic storms that brought heavy rains and flooding earlier this fall, continues to clean up while looking for relief.

Dairywoman Karli Johnson said the day before the first major storm – Hurricane Irene – was just like any other day at Muddy River Farm.

“We knew there could be strong winds and heavy rains and that there wasn’t much we could do to prepare,” Karli says.

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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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