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Farm Groups Coordinating Upcoming Dairy Together Roadshows
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/13/2019

Several family farm groups are joining forces to put together a national Dairy Together Roadshow this spring to present options rooted in research and to engage farmers and policy makers in conversations to move the dairy industry forward.

Last winter, Wisconsin Farmers Union enlisted dairy economists Mark Stephenson from the University of Wisconsin and Chuck Nicholson from Cornell to conduct an Analysis of Selected Dairy Programs to Reduce Volatility in Milk Prices and Farm Income. The Roadshow will unveil the researchers' data on several potential supply management programs' impacts on net farm operating income, farm numbers, domestic demand and cost to the government versus the current Margin Protection Program.

"The bottom line on what we found was generally pretty positive in terms of thinking of what these programs could do," Nicholson said. "We saw reduced variation in prices and also some price enhancement, increased net farm operating incomes, reduction in the rate of farm exits across farms of all sizes, and a reduction in government expenditures on dairy programs."

Stephenson added that projections under the current MPP show substantial payments of more than a billion dollars being doled out in the next couple years.

"It's worth noting, the programs we looked at don't cost the government anything," he noted. "In fact they reduce the government programs that are already part of law."

Farmers of all backgrounds are encouraged to attend the Roadshow events, which are being organized by the National Farmers Union, National Farmers Organization, Holstein Association USA, and state Farmers Union organizations from Wisconsin, New England, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, California, and the Rocky Mountain region.

Locally, the meetings will be held March 27 at the WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh; April 2 at 29 Pines near Eau Claire; and April 4 at the UW-Platteville Pioneer Farm.

For more information or to reserve a spot, call the WFU office at 715-723-5561.

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