On Tuesday April 10, dairy industry leaders from Minnesota and Wisconsin gathered in Eau Claire, Wisconsin for Cooperative Network’s Federal Dairy Issues Forum. Cooperative Network focuses much of its work on state issues in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Because many of the issues in the dairy industry are federal in nature, this conference gives Cooperative Network members the opportunity to discuss these federal issues with dairy industry experts.
Dr. Andrew Novakovic the E.V. Baker Professor of Agricultural Economics at Cornell University, discussed some of the problems that are facing the dairy industry and how the cooperatives can help solve these problems. Dr. Brian Gould the Renk Professor of Agribusiness at U.W. Madison visited with attendees on changes to the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy and the Margin Protection Programs.
Cooperative Network’s member driven resolution supports international trade policy that protects domestic producers from unfair trade practices. Jaime Castaneda, VP Strategic Initiatives and Trade Policy for National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) talked about dairy trade and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Castaneda stressed the NAFTA is working well in regards to trade with Mexico. Castaneda also pointed out some of the problems we are having with Canada and its impact on U.S. dairy producer’s milk checks. Castaneda told attendees about NMPF’s involvement in other trade issues including “Geographic Indications and Common Names.”
Keri Jacobs, the Iowa Institute of Cooperatives Endowed Professor at Iowa State University, reviewed the recent tax reform legislation and what that means for cooperatives and their farmer owners. Jacobs focused on Section 199, Section 199A and the new Section 199A what they mean to cooperatives and how we got to this point. Dr. Robert Cropp and Dr. Mark Stephenson finished the day by reenacting their “Dairy Situation and Outlook” podcast.