As we were coming out of 2019, and just entering 2020, things were starting to look a bit more positive for the dairy industry. After multiple years of depressed prices, disappearing farms, and uncertainty; it looked like things were starting to turn around for those who were able to hang on.
So, what is going on for the industry that just can not seem to catch a break? What policy issues are at the forefront for producers?
Audio: Full Interview with Mykel Wedig of Edge Dairy Cooperative
Mykel Wedig is the Director of Government Affairs for Edge Dary Cooperative, which serves customers in the northeastern parts of Iowa. One of the issues she has been working on is concerns with the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) system. She says it is about clarifying what producers see on their milk checks.
Wedig talks about their proposal called the “Class 3 Plus” proposal. It is still being developed to help develop a long-term, workable solution for producers and processors alike.
Other priorities include the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which is sitting in the Senate. They want to see a change in the cap on year-round H-2A visas. They would also like to see a stronger path to legal status for other workers.
Wedig says that there is a lot of understanding among lawmakers, and support for the industry. However, Wedig says that “politics” are standing in the way of accomplishing anything in a timely manner.