Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act brings high hopes for farmers

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LINN - The Missouri House Select Committee on Agriculture voted on a bill that proponents say could bring more farmers to Missouri and ultimately, lower dairy prices. 

The committee approved the Missouri Revitalization Act on Monday.

The Act would require the Department of Agriculture to establish a dairy producer insurance premium assistance program. 

Dairy farmers who would be eligible for the program are those who participate in the federal margin protection program. 

This program will reimburse farmers for 70 percent of their federal premium payment. 

Alfred Brandt of Brandt Dairy farm in Linn, Mo. said this program could be an incentive for dairy farmers throughout the United States to come to Missouri.

He said that due to bad weather conditions, many dairy farmers could be looking to come to Missouri for the benefits of the Dairy Revitalization Act. 

As for dairy prices, with more dairy producers in the state of Missouri, proponents said the retail prices could decline in the future. 

"Missouri is a milk deficit state. We ship milk into Missouri to process it here. It would help our processors more than anything to be competitive. At the retail level, it can't hurt. The more dairies we have, the more beneficial it is for us as farmers," Brandt said. 

Last year, lawmakers rejected a similar bill, partly due to Governor Jay Nixon's opposition to the Captive Deer clause that would have transferred the responsibility of deer to the Department of Agriculture from the Department of Wildlife. That clause is not in the current bill. 

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