Support the Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act  09/01/14 8:07:10 PM

Background: Once a leader in the dairy industry, Missouri is losing dairy farms at an alarming rate. The 2000 census administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed that Missouri lost dairy farms at nearly twice the rate of the rest of the nation. This loss in farms erodes the economy of rural areas and risks the success of the small businesses that support those farms. The loss of dairy farms also threatens the state’s dairy infrastructure and imposes challenges on the state’s processing industry. 

It is estimated that Missouri imports 55 truckloads of milk a day into the state to meet processing needs. This milk comes from neighboring states like Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and others. The inefficiencies driven by the increased cost of transportation, as well as other factors, led to recent closures of processing facilities in the state. 

According to a recent study by the University of Missouri, the state’s dairy product manufacturing industry directly employs over 5,500 workers with an average wage of nearly $47,000 per worker. If you include indirect and induced jobs stimulated by the dairy product manufacturing industry, over 23,000 jobs are supported. 

Missouri's dairy manufacturing plants produce an estimated $4.4 billion worth of dairy products each year. The industry revenues translated into statewide total economic output worth $7.7 billion in 2011. 

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT OF THE MISSOURI DAIRY REVITALIZATION ACT!

The legislation:
  • Works with the recently passed federal farm bill which provides dairy farmers a type of catastrophic loss insurance to protect their margins. The federal program allows dairy farmers to purchase up to $8/cwt margin coverage. 
  • The Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act (MDRA) is a cost-share program, providing an incentive for farmers to purchase margin coverage (70% premium reimbursement up to $.34/cwt). This program would stabilize dairy production in the state, allow for growth and help to preserve the jobs associated with the dairy manufacturing sector. 
  • The MDRA also recognizes the need to train young farmers. It includes a scholarship program for students who work on a dairy farm during the course of their college education, among other requirements. 
  • Lastly, it is important to note that a strong dairy industry in the state will keep retail prices of milk and other dairy products stable for Missouri’s consumers. 
SUPPORT THE DAIRY FARMERS, CONSUMERS AND MANUFACTURERS IN MISSOURI. PASS THE MISSOURI DAIRY REVITILIZATION PROGRAM.

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