Questionnaire sent to members of both the House and Senate Ag Committees
Farm Women United
P.O. Box 113
Laceyville, PA 18623
Phone: (570) 267-7405
Fax: (570) 833-2843
“Taking Back Our Food Supply, One Farm Policy Project At A Time”
February 14, 2018
Farm Women United (FWU) is committed to reporting the TRUTH about the role Politicians play in keeping the milk price paid to FAMILY DAIRY FARMERS below what it COSTS to produce milk at the farm. Dairy farming families are suffering great hardships from the low milk prices that threaten their private property and their survival.
Below you will find several questions pertaining to securing Fair Milk Prices for our nation’s family dairy farmers NOW. FWU will grade you on a scale of A (fully supportive of America's dairy farmers) to F (totally against America's dairy farmers). These grades will be posted on our website for the public to view. Additionally, your responses will be the basis for ACTION ALERTS and PUBLIC POLICY STATEMENTS issued to advance widespread efforts to guarantee that farmers receive a FAIR MILK PRICE. Because of the DIRE AND EXTREME ECONOMIC EMERGENCY facing FAMILY DAIRY FARMERS TODAY, you will have until March 1, 2018 to respond to our request. If we do not receive your responses by March 1, 2018, you will automatically receive a grade of an F, showing that you do not support the dairy policy reforms needed to help our family dairy farmers survive.
- Do you believe that the small to mid-size dairy farms, that, historically, have been such an important part of vibrant American rural communities, should be preserved to guarantee that our nation's consumers can access fresh, local milk and dairy products? If no, please explain why not?
- Would you support an Emergency $20 per hundredweight (cwt.) floor price under all milk used to manufacture dairy products to stop the dairy farmers' severe milk price losses until public federal and state hearings are conducted to determine the systemic causes and long-term remedies for low farm milk prices? If no, please explain why not?
- Would you support the right of dairy farmers to receive a price for their milk that allows them to cover their “Cost Of Production” (COP) even if this challenges the global “Free Trade Agreements”? If no, please explain why not?
- Would you support holding public hearings to investigate the effect “moo-glue protein products” derived from milk, including, but not limited to, casein, milk protein concentrates (MPC's), “ultra-filtered milk,” etc., have on the “farm milk price discovery” process and on the price consumers are paying for milk and dairy products and to additionally determine any and all safety and nutritional impacts these “milk-derivative proteins” have on human health, including children's? If no, please explain why not?
- Would you support making “full-fat” and “whole” milk, both white and flavored, available for use in the school lunch program? If no, please explain why not?
- Would you support USDA national milk hearings that give dairy farmers themselves a chance to testify for a new federal pricing formula that will include farmers’ “cost of production,” like other businesses do in pricing their goods or services? If no, please explain why not?
- Since Congress terminated the “Dairy Product Price Support Program” (DPPSP) in the 2014 Farm Bill, do you support eliminating the roughly $2 per cwt. “make allowance” reduction in dairy farmers' milk prices that is credited to milk manufacturers, to pay their “cost” to convert milk into dairy products? If no, please explain why not?
- Do you support public investigations into the Capper-Volstead dairy cooperatives that are manifesting disturbing, blatant, and rampant corruption at all levels of activity, internally and in the milk markets? If no, please explain why not?
- Would you be willing to challenge the “Free Trade Agreements” if that is necessary in order to ensure that American dairy farmers receive a fair price for their milk? If no, please explain why not?
HERE IS THE GRADING FOR THE AG COMMITTEES
Farm Women United (FWU) has contacted all of the 46 members of the House Agriculture Committee and 20 members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, through multiple channels, with the above nine-question Questionnaire. Because of the dire financial EMERGENCY overwhelming dairy farmers across the US, a March 1, 2018, deadline was stipulated.
First, the Questionnaire was sent via the Senators' website's “Contact” option, but it could not be sent to the members of the House Ag Committee since we were informed we were “not in their districts.” Therefore,
FWU contacted the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) on February 15th and asked one of their aides to hand-deliver the Questionnaire to the House Ag Committee. We then contacted each of the 66 offices to get the names and email addresses of their agricultural aides. Next, all members' Ag Aides received an emailed copy of the Questionnaire on February 26th, sent to each of their individual email inboxes.
As of March 8, 2018, we have not heard from any of the Agriculture Committee members with their answers to this vital dairy farmer Questionnaire. Below you will find a list of all of the members of the Ag Committees and our grading of their responses. The intention was to grade the responses from “A through F,” but, sadly, most received an “F-” because no effort was made to even contact FWU about the Questionnaire. One member of the Senate Ag Committee and one member of the House Ag Committee received an “F” because their respective aides were courteous enough to make a good faith effort to contact FWU to acknowledge receipt of this emergency Questionnaire but still did not submit completed Questionnaires.
This Questionnaire identifies many federal policies behind the current desperation on our nation's dairy farms and highlights the absolute necessity for the Congressional Ag Committee members to safeguard America's food supply by putting the needs of dairy farmers first. Having 100% of the Senate and House Committees blow off this Questionnaire is shocking. These are the people controlling “Farm” Bills and the SNAP program. Ignoring the FWU Questionnaire demonstrates blatant dereliction of duty by powerful Congressional Ag Committee members who have failed to act in time to reassure desperate family dairy farmers that their unfortunate plight---which is 100% caused by worsening federal anti-dairy-farmer policies---is a top priority for Ag Committee members. It is apparent to us that the Ag Committees are out of touch with the very citizens they are supposed to be serving and do not care about the state of the dairy farmers or our nation’s food supply.
Any Member of the Committee who would like to change his/her grading, can contact FWU and submit the completed Questionnaire. We are a fair and reasonable organization and will be more than willing to update the Committee Member's grade according to the answers.
House Agriculture Committee Members
K. Michael Conaway, Texas (Chairman) F-
Bob Goodlatte, Virginia F-
Frank D. Lucas, Oklahoma F-
Steve King, Iowa F-
Mike Rogers, Alabama F-
Glenn Thompson, Pennsylvania F-
Bob Gibbs, Ohio F-
Austin Scott, Georgia F-
Rick K. Crawford, Arkansas F-
Scott DesJarlais, Tennessee F-
Vicky Hartzler, Missouri F-
Jeff Denham, California F-
Doug LaMalfa, California F-
Rodney Davis, Illinois F-
Ted S. Yoho, Florida F-
Rick W. Allen, Georgia F-
Mike Bost, Illinois F-
David Rouzer, North Carolina F-
Ralph Lee Abraham, Louisiana F-
Trent Kelly, Mississippi F-
James Comer, Kentucky F-
Roger W. Marshall, Kansas F-
Don Bacon, Nebraska F-
John J. Faso, New York F-
Neil P. Dunn, Florida F-
Jodey Arrington, Texas F-
Collin Peterson, Minnesota F-
David Scott, Georgia F-
Jim Costa, California F-
Timothy J. Walz, Minnesota F-
Marcia L. Fudge, Ohio F-
James P. McGovern, Massachusetts F-
Filemon Vela, Texas F-
Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico F-
Ann M. Kuster, New Hampshire F-
Richard M. Nolan, New Mexico F-
Cheri Bustos, Illinois F-
Sean Patrick Maloney, New York F-
Stacey E. Plaskett, Virgin Islands F-
Alma S. Adams, North Carolina F
Dwight Evans, Pennsylvania F-
Al Lawson, Jr., Florida F-
Tom O’Halleran, Arizona F-
Jimmy Panetta, California F-
Darren Soto, Florida F-
Lisa Blunt Rochester, Delaware F-
Senate Agriculture Committee Members
Pat Roberts, Kansas (Chairman) F-
Thad Cochran, Mississippi F-
Mitch McConnell, Kentucky F-
John Boozman, Arkansas F-
John Hoeven, North Dakota F-
Joni Ernst, Iowa F-
Chuck Grassley, Iowa F-
John Thune, South Dakota F-
Steve Daines, Montana F-
David Perdue, Georgia F-
Debbie Stabenow, Michigan F-
Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont F-
Sherrod Brown, Ohio F-
Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota F-
Michael F. Bennett, Colorado F-
Kirsten E. Gillibrand, New York F-
Joe Donnelly, Indiana F-
Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota F-
Robert P. Casey, Pennsylvania F
Chris Van Hollen, Maryland F-