Leahy, Sanders, Welch Encourage Vermont Dairy Farmers To Enroll In New Dairy Safety Program

We want to get this message to every Vermont dairy farmer as quickly as possible, because the deadline for taking advantage of the new dairy safety net program is just around the corner.
We are encouraging every Vermont dairy farmer to consider participating in the new Margin Protection Program (MPP) for Dairy that we worked to include as a part of the 2014 Farm Bill.  With the end of the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, MPP is now the only federal safety net available for dairy farmers when milk prices fall.  It will offer a revenue risk management tool for dairy producers when the difference between the price of milk and price of feed falls below coverage levels that farmers themselves choose.  While the MPP is not as effortless to use as MILC, it can provide much better protection for all of Vermont’s dairy farms.  We specifically worked to help design this program to be simple to use and to offer advantages to all dairy producers regardless of management style or business model.
The deadline to enroll in MPP is now just a few short weeks away, December 5, 2014.  If dairy farmers do not sign up for protection by the upcoming deadline, they will not be able to sign up to receive any revenue risk protection until 2016.  While the dairy industry has had a good year in 2014, we all know that the only thing constant for dairy prices is change.  We are concerned that these good times may not continue and that is why this program was created, to help insure and protect against those challenging times. It is our hope that every Vermont dairy farmer will do themselves a favor by learning more about the program at your local county FSA or extension offices, ask your cooperative about the program, or get online and use the MPP decision tool.  An administrative fee of $100 is required to enroll and provides the minimum catastrophic level of protection against margin losses for the coming year and additional coverage may be purchased to protect more of your margin.  You owe it to yourself to learn more about this valuable new program and how it can help your operation.
Information about MPP is available from the following resources:

  • Your local FSA office.  County staff are well-informed and ready to sign you up.
  • UVM Extension Service.  They are working with FSA to reach out to farmers with information about MPP.  Contact 802- 349-2966.
  • Online, information is available at: www.fsa.usda.gov.  There, you will find a fact sheet about MPP, and web-based tool to help you determine your level of coverage.

As always, if we can be of assistance to you, do not hesitate to contact our offices.
We hope every Vermont dairy farm will consider MPP to be an important resource for your operation and consider enrolling within the coming weeks.  We wish you all the best.
Senator Patrick Leahy

Senator Bernie Sanders

Congressman Peter Welch

Press Contact

Press Contact
David Carle: 202-224-3693