MR. BRUCE MOSS: (sp) Thank you, Secretary Johanns. I am Bruce Moss. I am a dairy farmer from southwestern Minnesota right here. I want to tailor my response to question two, the issue of imports or not of imports, excuse me, of global competitiveness. While I agree that it is important to be competitive on a global scale for all of ag, I think it needs to be done in such a way that the local industry or domestic industry, whether it be livestock, grain, or dairy, be strong and viable. As such, I would urge you to support the extension of the MILC program for the rest of this current Farm Bill.
Also, for the next Farm Bill I would really like to see the $9.90 a hundred weight support price issue be revisited. That support price has been in place for 20-some years. It’s totally outdated and totally inadequate. There is no place in this country and few places in the world that could produce milk for that amount of money.
Also, on the issue of imports, MPCs specifically. We need to look at having some import quotas and tariffs in place so that we do not become a dumping ground for world surplus MPCs. Also, we do not want to become dependent on dairy imports in general. Thank you.
MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Let’s go to the next microphone.
MS. CAROL BERG: My name is Carol Berg. I’m the state president of the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. I am also a farmer. The Association is a nonprofit organization and we represent over 87 soil and water conservation districts and over 400 elected supervisors who carry out natural resource management programs. The current Farm Bill has many good features of conservation in it. It is important to continue and to enhance the conservation program, the technical assistance and the delivery system to implement conservation on our private working lands, continue to provide for local leadership and involvement when implementing conservation programs, correlate conservation program funding with implementation funding.
The nation’s conservation agenda should provide for federal, state, local, and private natural resource conservation programs that consolidate jointly the funded efforts for a unified delivery system such as our Minnesota Prep Program. Continue to support the conservation –[tape break]
We encourage Congress to have the entire CRP Program administrated by NRCS. NRCS’ presence at the field level and technical assistance that that agency provides are critical to the success of conservation.
Congress should also support federal funding to assist private forest land owners in implementing sustainable forestry practices. Please continue to support the flexibility and the funding for the equip program.
In conclusion, I would just like to say that over the past 20 years, the Farm Bill has been one of the most important vehicles in providing land owners with guidance and assistance in protecting and enhancing Minnesota’s natural resource. Thank you for the