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NO. R-54.  Joint house resolution urging Congress to extend the federal Milk Income Loss Contract Program.


Offered by:  Representatives Johnson of Canaan, Bartlett of Dover, Botzow of Pownal, Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, Dunsmore of Georgia, Johnson of South Hero, Lawrence of Lyndonville, Malcolm of Pawlet, Orr of Charlotte, Smith of New Haven and Zuckerman of Burlington.

Whereas, the price milk processors pay to Vermont’s dairy farmers for a gallon of milk frequently falls far below its cost of production, and

Whereas, the low market price has forced many dairy farmers in the state to cease operations, resulting in a continuing decline in their already depleted numbers, and

Whereas, one of the important initiatives to provide a threshold price to the state’s dairy farmers for their milk is the federal Farm Service Agency’s Milk Income Loss Control (MILC) Program established in Section 1502 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, and

Whereas, the purpose of the MILC Program is to financially compensate dairy producers (those individuals and entities who “commercially produce and market cow milk in the United States; or who produce milk in the United States and commercially market the milk outside the United States”) when domestic milk prices fall below a specified level, and

Whereas, the price per hundred weight paid to Vermont’s dairy farmers in the MILC Program is determined by multiplying 45 percent of the difference between $16.94 and the Boston Class I price for that month, which is calculated in accordance with the technical criteria of the Northeast Milk Marketing Order, and

Whereas, although the MILC price support program does not provide Vermont’s dairy farmers with their exclusive source of milk-related income, it can mean the difference between survival and failure for the small family dairy farms that dot the state’s landscape, and

Whereas, this essential federal economic lifeline is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2005, and

Whereas, it is imperative that the MILC Program be extended to assure the continued viability of many of Vermont’s small dairy farms, and

Whereas, it is not too early to express this legislature’s strong support for continuation of the MILC Program, as Congress is already starting to consider farm legislation for federal fiscal year 2006 that begins on October 1 of this year, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly urges Congress to extend the vital Milk Income Loss Contract Program beyond its scheduled expiration date of September 30, 2005, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Vermont secretary of agriculture, the U. S. secretary of agriculture, the chairs of the U.S. House and Senate agriculture committees, and the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont