NMPF 2016 meeting room.

Highlights from the 2016 NDB/NMPF/UDIA Joint Annual Meeting

The 2016 joint annual meeting of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB) and the United Dairy Industry Association (UDIA) was held Oct. 30 to Nov. 2, in Nashville, Tennessee. Nearly 800 dairy producers, member cooperatives, Young Cooperators (YCs), industry representatives, staff, and others from all over the country arrived in “Music City” for a few days of speeches, reports, banquets, general sessions, town hall meetings, and award ceremonies.

In addition to two days of the general session the conference involved delegate meetings for boards of NDB, NMPF and UDIA and a conference for Young Cooperators. Learn more about the NMPF Young Cooperator Conference from 2016 OYDC Darrin and Barbara Siemen.

1. MPP – Margin Protection Program outlook:

NMPF has worked and will continue to work closely with Congress and the USDA on implementation of the MPP-Dairy program. The overall message shared at the joint annual meeting was, “The Margin Protection Program is the right program for the dairy industry’s future, yet it is clear that MPP must be improved to be a viable safety net program for farmers.” The Farm Bill has been slated by Congress to be re- addressed in the next session. NMPF has considered ‘lessons learned’ so far and have begun the progress of working with legislators to improve MPP.

Jim Mulhern, NMPF President & CEO, said, “NMPF is committed to determining the necessary adjustments– such as restoring the margin feed cost adjuster to the level NMPF originally intended (to assist dairy farmers nationwide) – and having Congress pass them at the earliest opportunity.”

2. NMPF Weighs in on the Trade – Trans-Pacific Partnership

“NMPF believes that the Trans-Pacific Partnership, if properly implemented and enforced, will be provide key benefits to U.S. dairy farmers,” said Jaime Casteaneda, Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives & Trade Policy. He added it is important to make proactive efforts to maintain market access globally.

“We will push to advance trade deals that represent a net positive for America’s dairy farmers, as the Trans- Pacific Partnership does. And we will work in close collaboration with the U.S. Dairy Export Council to expand the access we have in other markets,” Mulhern said.

3. The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet

Investigative journalist Nina Teicholz was a fan favorite as she revealed the truth: “that everything we thought we knew about dietary fats is wrong. She documents how the past sixty years of low-fat nutrition advice has amounted to a vast uncontrolled experiment on the entire population, with disastrous consequences for our health.”

The crowd cheered and applauded as Nina sorted through the facts and “groundbreaking claim that more, not less, dietary fat – including saturated fat – is what leads to better health, wellness, and fitness. Science shows that we have been needlessly avoiding meat, cheese, whole milk and eggs for decades and that we can, guilt-free, welcome these ‘whole fats’ back into our lives.”

–Jessica Welch

This article originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of the Michigan Milk Messenger.