Override Failure Hits Missouri Dairy Hard  09/16/14 6:57:40 AM

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. (Sept. 11, 2014) -- Missouri’s dairy farmers are very disappointed today in how close the Missouri General Assembly came to an override of Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of HB 1326 and SB 506 which contained the “Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act of 2014”.
 
“Despite the Missouri Senate passing the override by a 24-7 vote, the override failed to reach the 109 aye vote needed in the Missouri House on a last minute vote change,” says Larry Purdom, president of the Missouri Dairy Association (MDA) and a dairy farmer from Purdy, Missouri. “We needed 109 votes and came up one short. This is very disheartening from our point of view.

“MDA supported the Act because we felt it would have strengthened our dairy industry, ensured a milk supply to the state’s processors, and kept consumer prices of milk and other dairy products stable,” says Purdom. “We dairy farmers are resilient people and we will redouble our efforts to educate our legislators how important the dairy industry is to the State of Missouri. 
 
“A 2011 University of Missouri study showed that if you include indirect and induced jobs stimulated by the dairy product manufacturing industry, over 23,000 jobs are supported and provide $1.2 billion in wages in the state.  This does not include the jobs created and supported by the farms that produce the milk needed for this manufacturing.
 
“Some legislators were surprised to learn we import over 60 per cent of our dairy needs, for all uses, from neighboring states like Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and others. 
 
“Increased costs of transportation for hauling milk in will continue to pressure our industry and play a factor in consumer prices. Somebody has to pay for the fuel, tires and batteries to bring more milk into Missouri,” says Purdom.
 
“A second important facet of the Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act promoted higher education for our youth by way of 80 proposed scholarships of $5,000 apiece for students majoring in agriculture and working three months on a dairy farm for every year of their scholarship.”
 
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