By The American Dairy Coalition
Special to MAA
The American Dairy Coalition (ADC) is moving forward with women and men who will not idly discuss the problems of our dairy industry, but instead take an active role in finding solutions and fixing federal policy issues. The impact of these positive changes will promote and ensure an abundant supply of safe, nutritious dairy products to meet market demand. 
The ADC is solely focused and led by dairy producers who will advocate in Washington, D.C. on advancing national dairy policy that will be beneficial to dairy operations. 
Farmers have a big job to do to keep up with our growing population. The dairy, livestock and agriculture industry will have to produce more food over the next 40 years than they have over the last 10,000 years combined. Faced with such a large and important task, the industry must have the labor force necessary to milk their cows, work in their fields and process their products in order to get them to market. 
These good-paying jobs go unfilled by domestic laborers, even in areas with high unemployment rates. As a result, farmers have come to depend on hard-working, immigrant laborers who are up for the challenge of hard, sometimes messy, year-round work on our nation’s farms and ranches. Cows need to be milked every day, all year through, and currently no visa program is offered for year-round labor. We have long recognized the problem with our current immigration system -- the time is now to find solutions that secure the workforce our industry needs. 
The ADC feels immigration must be approached by providing solutions. If our industry does not take the lead, we will likely not find a solution that fills the needs of producers. ADC is a results-driven organization and is committed to being the voice of the nation’s dairy, livestock and agriculture producers as well as the allied businesses which provide food to your table day in and day out. We have a proven track record and have already returned millions of dollars to producers’ pockets with our recent legislative victory — making section 179 of the IRS tax code permanent and guaranteeing you to expense up to $500,000 each year. 
Our organization also worked hard on the repeal of the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirement in a move necessary to protect trading relations with Canada and Mexico and dairy products exported to these Countries. ADC realizes results and is taking the lead in the nation on one of the most controversial policy items facing the United States in order to secure a reliable labor force for our members. 
The ADC is researching and developing a solution called the State Based Visa Program. Our organization and our members have had the opportunity to work closely with the CATO Institute, a Washington-based think tank in perfecting the language of the bill and ensuring it fulfills the needs of our nation’s farmers, packing and processing plants and other allied industry businesses. 

This federally approved program would put power back into the hands of states, allowing for each state to tailor a program that fits its specific needs. This concept is gaining traction with congressmen on Capitol Hill who understand the labor problems our industry faces, but are desperately waiting on a viable solution. 
In order to push “real” reform across the finish line, broad financial support from the industry is needed. Solutions do not happen on their own and abundant resources are needed to push a solution through Congress.
When a dairy producer or allied industry partner joins the ADC, they are investing in federal advocacy stemming beyond immigration reform, but many other policy items too, including addressing EPA overregulation, increasing exports, mandatory labeling issues and many more policy concerns that affect our nation’s producers. 
Secure your position in a coalition of the nation’s most influential and innovative thinkers in the industry. Join us in securing a bright and fruitful future for dairy farmers, ranchers, agriculture producers and allied industry businesses. 
Learn more about us by visiting www.americandairycoalition.org or contacting President Laurie Fischer at Laurie@americandairycoalitioninc.com.
 


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