Courtney, Welch, colleagues call for changes to Dairy Insurance program after hearing concerns from New England farmers
WASHINGTON D.C. -- Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2), Congressman Peter Welch (VT), and House colleagues from New England sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday requesting review of the Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP), a newly-established insurance program for dairy farmers implemented in the 2014 Farm Bill. After hearing concerns from local dairy farmers during the August district work period, Courtney and Welch drafted the letter requesting that USDA reexamine feed price calculations, conduct additional education on the insurance program for small farm operators, and extend the signup period for the program. Today, USDA announced that they will extend the signup period for the MPP program from September 30th to November 20th, giving farmers additional time to determine the level of coverage that fits their needs.
“It is important that farmers have the feed information they need in order to make appropriate business decisions. To that end, we request that USDA conduct a survey of aggregate feed prices by state. Current feed prices are not calculated on a state-by-state basis, and we believe that these more specific numbers will provide USDA and Congress with a better sense of where our dairy farmers stand financially, ” the Members of Congress wrote.
Joining Courtney and Welch in sending the letter were Representatives Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Stephen Lynch (MA-08), David Cicilline (RI-01), James Langevin (RI-02), Ann Kuster (NH-02), Joseph Kennedy (MA-04), Richard Neal (MA-01), Elizabeth Esty (CT-05), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Michael Capuano (MA-07), John Larson (CT-01), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Niki Tsongas (MA-03), Jim Himes (CT-4), and Bill Keating (MA-09).