MDA Encourages Governor to Fully Fund Dairy Act  07/05/16 11:17:36 AM

July 1, 2016
Governor Jay Nixon
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Dear Governor Nixon:

The Missouri Dairy Association (MDA) supports full funding and implementation of the Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act (MDRA). The goal of the MDRA is to revitalize the dairy industry in Missouri.

According to a 2011 University of Missouri study, Missouri’s dairy product manufacturing industry revenues translated into statewide total economic output worth $7.7 billion. When you include the jobs, created at the farm level and with additional suppliers, a total of 23,297 jobs were supported providing $1.2 billion in labor income to Missourians in 2011.

The Missouri Senate, in a strong bipartisan vote of 31-2 passed the Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act of 2015 (HB 259). HB 259, sponsored by Representative Bill Reiboldt (R-160), cleared the Missouri House of Representatives by a vote of 110-49 on February 4, 2015.

Your support, shown by signing HB 259 into law in April 2015, was instrumental in encouraging Missouri dairy farmers to sign up the first time for the new Federal Margin Protection Plan (MPP). There has been a second sign up since.

MDA supports full funding of the MDRA including the reimbursement of producer MPP premiums for both Federal sign ups.

We believe this was the original intent of the Missouri General Assembly. Reimbursement for both signups will cover the maximum number of eligible producers and provide much needed financial resources during this critical economic time on the dairy farm.

This year the Missouri General Assembly passed a budget of $2.5 million for the Dairy Act to support the three initiatives identified in HB 259 which are 1. Producer reimbursement for MPP coverage, 2. Up to 80 ($5,000) scholarships for students in agriculture at any 2 or 4 year college in the state, and 3. Support for Commercial Ag dairy projects at the University of Missouri.

The MDA Board of Directors reviewed these Commercial Ag projects and feel very strongly they will have a major long term impact in revitalizing our dairy industry. They have our full support.

Ted Sheppard
Missouri Dairy Association

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