Writing to correct misunderstandings

Editor:

I am writing to correct possible misunderstandings about operation of the Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact that your readers may be left with based on representations attributed to me in the recent article relating to dairy compacts (“Ohio milk producers not convinced compacts work, Oct. 18, 2001).

The Compact is and was defined by the effort to reconcile a number of diverse concerns involved with milk market regulation. These include producer price enhancement and stability consumer price impacts, and the incentive for increased production resulting from higher farm pay prices.

While certainly an issue of primary concern, overproduction must thus be viewed in context of the overall regulatory stratagem, rather than considered the “biggest concern,” as indicated by Constance Jackson of the Farm Bureau.

More specifically, the Commission did not have the authority and never did discuss any form of quota program, much less see production quotas as “‘the only solution to the issue of over-production, as indicated in the article.

Consistent with the terms of The Compact the Commission developed and implemented an incentive payment program to address the issue of increased production attributable, to higher pay prices.

Finally, contrary to what was reported, the Commission would have welcomed Ohio’s participation in the Compact. The Commission saw itself as a pilot project for interstate action and cooperation in milk market regulation, and would have embraced the opportunity to participate with any and all states that sought to join the New England states in this endeavor.

I hope these comments serve to clarify the views of the Commission and myself. Your readers should feel free to contact me with further quest-Ions at the Center for New England Dairy Compact Research, Inc., 802-229-0620.

Daniel Smith

Montpelier, Vt.

(The author is the founding executive director of the Northeast Dairy Compact Commission.)

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