Posts Tagged ‘Exports’

We Met with Congressman Joe Courtney

January 25, 2010

On a beautiful and unseasonably warm January Saturday, our young dairy producer group met with Congressman Joe Courtney at the Kellogg Dairy Center, UConn, in Storrs. The room seemed quite full as we invited UConn dairy students to join us for this event. The congressman spoke about the Congressional Dairy Coalition, what is happening on the policy front, and other various dairy-related topics.

Young Dairy Producers with U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney at the Kellogg Dairy Center, University of Connecticut, Storrs

Courtney, a second term Democrat serving the second district of Connecticut,  fielded good questions from the audience, and left us with good information and take-home messages. A few key areas:

  • Milk is an important part of nutrition legislation. We need to make sure we keep it this way.
  • We need to find consensus among our industry- within our own state, from state to state, AND among production methods.
  • Opening up the Farm Bill is probably not a direction to go, but with the next one coming in 2012, it’s not too early to start building that consensus.
  • Washington needs to hear from us. WE are the dairy experts; they rely on us for straight facts about OUR industry, OUR production methods, OUR product.

Courtney’s Dairy Coalition may be meeting with Ambassador Ron Kirk,  United States Trade Representative in the next few weeks to talk about a trade agreement that would include New Zealand. I wonder if you’d take a few minutes to answer the follow questions in a reply to this post: What sorts of questions would you have for Ambassador Kirk with respect to dairy imports and exports? Where do you see New Zealand in the global dairy market and how should/could the U.S. dairy industry work with NZ? Or should they not? I have my own opinions that I will share. I’d like to first hear from you.