Published on 11/06/14

Margin Protection Program educational session for dairymen slated

To help Georgia dairymen understand new regulations handed down by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), University of Georgia Extension has scheduled an educational session for Tuesday, Nov. 18, at the McGill Woodruff Agricultural Center in Washington, Ga.

USDA's Milk Income Loss Contract Program (MILC) is being replaced by the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for dairymen.

The free session begins at noon and should end by 2 p.m. It is open to dairy farmers, managers and employees and representatives from financial institutions that provide credit to dairy operations.

Administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), the MPP will compensate dairy producers when domestic milk prices fall below a specified level. This price protection is not a free service and producers must pay a premium to be covered. Similar to car, house and automobile insurance, dairymen hope to never use the protection plan. If the market drops and a farmer needs the coverage, he would be protected from undue hardship, but income for that time period would be less than normal market conditions. Producers choose from varying levels of price protection. Of course, the more protection chosen, the higher the premium will be for the coverage. Dairymen have until Dec. 5 to choose their coverage.

UGA Extension economist Tommie Shepherd will lead the session. Prior to joining UGA Extension in 2006, Shepherd worked for six years as an economist with the USDA's Southeast Federal Milk Marketing Order in Atlanta. He was responsible for policy analysis, price forecasting, market outlook information and marketing order education for producer organizations and cooperatives.

Participants are asked to pre-register by calling 706-678-2332. The milk contract educational session is a joint effort of the Georgia Milk Producers, Inc., UGA Extension, USDA Farm Service Agency and Wilkes County Young Farmers.

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