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National dairy conference to target farm bill, immigration








The outlook for a new farm bill and a better safety net for dairy farmers will be one of the key sessions at the upcoming National Dairy Producers Conference April 7 through 9 in Indianapolis.



The conference, open to dairy farmers from across the country, will provide an in-depth discussion of the issues facing the dairy industry. Educational discussions are planned on topics ranging from farm policy and immigration reform to agricultural finance. The meeting is organized by National Milk Producers Federation.



On April 8, a two-hour session will address the prospects in 2013 for the NMPF-backed dairy reforms contained in the 2012 Farm Bill. That session will feature presentations from congressional staff, NMPF leadership, and agricultural economists - all discussing the outlook for getting the Dairy Security Act passed this year and how that measure would benefit farmers.



"There's no shortage of major challenges right now in our business. The focus of this conference is on addressing solutions for the future," Jerry Kozak, president and CEO of NMPF, said in a press release.



The conference will also include a session about the prospect for immigration reform legislation on Capitol Hill, with presentations from individuals representing dairy farmers, the White House and Congress.



The conference will also examine the state of the agricultural banking sector as it relates to dairy farming. A trade policy panel will address how the U.S. can both protect and promote its dairy products in world markets, while a panel on dairy cow marketing will focus on the marketing of cull dairy cows.



Guest speakers will include Purdue agricultural economist Christopher Hurt, who will review the outlook for feed prices this year, and Bill Weldon of Elanco, who will discuss new ideas under development for products to enhance a dairy cow's productivity.



The conference will be preceded by an optional farm tour that will take place April 7. Participants will be able to get an insider tour of Fair Oaks Farms, one of the largest dairies in the country with a consumer education facility.



The hotel registration deadline is March 14. More information on the conference is available at www.nmpf.org/NDPC.



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