Dairy Defined

Dairy Defined

National Milk Producers Federation

Episodes

June 6, 2021 14 min

All of agriculture will benefit from U.S. insistence that trade agreements be enforced, even as dairy seeks export opportunities around the globe, says Shawna Morris, NMPF’s Senior Vice President for Trade. 

“Having the willingness to be able to go ahead and enforce what's needed when it becomes clear that, that's what's required, we think sets a good tone,” said Morris in a Dairy Defined podcast released today, referrin...

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Sustainability is shaping the U.S. dairy industry’s future, making it better equipped to make sure the world has the nutrition it needs, says Pete Kappelman, a longtime dairy farmer and Land O'Lakes' Senior Vice President of Member and Government Relations. 

 “U.S. dairy farmers are deeply involved and concerned about the many communities that they touch. And that starts with producing a safe, nutritious, affordable food, bu...

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From building small communities to solving environmental issues, farmers stand at the center of solutions to national problems, says Cornelius Blanding, executive director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund, a Georgia-based non-profit cooperative association of Black farmers, landowners, and cooperatives. 

 “Farmers are at the heart of the solutions of our country,” said Blanding in a Dairy Defined podca...

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A career devoted to agricultural sustainability – capped by a stint as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture – has prepared new U.S. Dairy Export Council President and CEO Krysta Harden well for her new role. Dairy’s stewardship at home is a powerful message to boost sales abroad, she says – and that story is becoming ever-more-important to hear as dairy’s critics try to shape global agriculture.

“Our future is exciting,” she sai...

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Earth Day later this month is a natural opportunity to highlight dairy’s commitment to environmental stewardship, Nicole Ayache, NMPF’s senior director for sustainability initiatives and leader of Environmental Stewardship and Workforce Development for the National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Program, said in an NMPF podcast released today. 

 “Caring for our natural resources is every day for a dairy farmer,...

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Elinor “Elle” Purrier St. Pierre holds the U.S. record for fastest times in the women’s indoor mile and two-mile races. She’s also a dairy farmer, having grown up on a 40-cow operation in Vermont and currently living on one with her husband as she trains for a shot at the Tokyo Olympics.

Those Olympics, like everything else, have been disrupted by COVID-19, which last year sent Purrier St. Pierre back to Vermont, away from her train...

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An ebbing COVID-19 pandemic, an appreciation of the labor crisis in agriculture, and a heightened bipartisan desire for immigration reform all make 2021 a unique opportunity for progress in ensuring a secure dairy workforce if the moment is seized, NMPF Senior Director of Government Relations Claudia Larson says in a Dairy Defined podcast. 

“This window of opportunity, I think if we don't seize it, we're not entirely sure wh...

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Through commitments like the Net Zero Initiative and efforts like the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program, dairy farmers are well-positioned to be agricultural leaders in mitigating climate change, said Dr. Jamie Jonker, NMPF’s Vice President for Sustainability and Scientific Affairs. 

“We're producing more milk, we're having less greenhouse gas emissions overall, which means that the U.S. d...

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Milk production is increasing faster than demand is recovering, making 2021 a challenging year for dairy farmers, said Peter Vitaliano, NMPF’s chief economist, in an NMPF podcast. 

“On balance, things are improving a little bit” in dairy demand, “but they're still falling short of the milk production rate of increase,” Vitaliano said. Still, bright spots remain for the medium- and longer-term dairy outlook. Demand for U.S. dairy...

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Governing in 2021 is difficult, with a narrowly divided Congress and a new administration facing significant challenges, said Paul Bleiberg, NMPF’s senior vice president for government relations, in an NMPF podcast. Still, policy progress for dairy is possible, especially given the sector’s reputation for bipartisan cooperation, he said. 

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Newly released federal dietary guidelines will benefit dairy, even as work remains to be done, said Miquela Hanselman, NMPF’s regulatory affairs manager.

“Dairy is in a good place,” Hanselman said. “Three servings of low-fat and non-fat dairy are continued to be recommended in the healthy U.S. and vegetarian diets, and dairy remained its own group. In addition, dairy was recognized as a source of under-consumed nutrients, which are ...

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Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts is leaving Congress after 40 years in January. The only person to lead both the House and Senate agriculture committees takes with him a wealth of wisdom in agriculture policy – but also holds optimism for agriculture’s ability to get things done in an environment of difficult challenges.

“I would just say that I am very confident that the people who will be taking my place, they hav...

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Forecasts for prices and politics both make signup for the Dairy Margin Coverage Program a compelling risk-management choice for 2021, National Milk Producers Federation Senior Vice President for Member Services & Strategic Initiatives Chris Galen says.

“Congress is still trying to pass another stimulus bill to help all walks of life in our society and our economy and hopefully agriculture will be part of that, but right now the...

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James Weber is learning as he goes along – but the coronavirus pandemic, disrupted international markets, shifting technology and turbulent political debates make life as a beginning dairy farmer challenging, as Weber, explains.

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The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted lives transformed everything from schooling and shopping habits to … cheese contests. It’s not something most people think about, but in a time of social distancing and curtailed travel, how exactly does one gather, sample, compare and celebrate world-class cheeses, virtually? 

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The extreme disruptions and financial upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have created real struggles for dairy producers – and the industry has responded by rising to an unprecedented occasion, said Randy Mooney, chairman of the National Milk Producers Federation, to delegates at the organization’s first-ever virtual annual meeting. 

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On National Farmer’s Day, dairy farmer Suzanne Vold is highlighting dairy’s commitments to the environment and a net-zero future, noting that her colleagues are already effective stewards and are committed to doing more.

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On National Farmer’s Day, dairy farmer Suzanne Vold is highlighting dairy’s commitments to the environment and a net-zero future, noting that her colleagues are already effective stewards and are committed to doing more. 

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The Dairy Margin Coverage program has worked well for the farmers who signed up for it, while other federal programs ranging from emergency loans to disaster payments have helped keep dairy farms afloat during the coronavirus crisis, said Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-PA.

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Election-year politics is complicating efforts to push additional agriculture aid through Congress, but already-authorized spending may allow USDA to aid dairy farmers facing unstable roller-coaster prices and shifting supply chains, said Paul Bleiberg, NMPF’s vice president for government relations, in an NMPF podcast.

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