Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act of 2014 Makes Way to Senate

By Lindsay Clein , Chris Eidson

Published 04/08 2014 10:13PM

Updated 04/08 2014 10:28PM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. --  A new bill making its way to the state senate could help the future of dairy farming in Missouri.

The House of Representatives passed the "Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act of 2014" which offers an insurance program for dairy farmers.

The bill passed in the house by an overwhelming vote of 137-4.  With Missouri continuing to lose dairy farmers, those in the industry are hoping the bill becomes law.

"It would help all dairy farmers out tremendously," says Dairy Farmer David Gunter of Gunter Farms in Conway, Mo.

Gunter knows all too well that dairy farming can be a tough job.

"Seven days a week, two times a day-- someone has to be here every day to milk the cows," he says.

That's why he hopes the Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act of 2014 passes.

"We have less than 2,000 dairy farms left in the state of Missouri," says Gunter.  "And you know, right now we are already a milk deficit state-- and the more dairy farmers we lose, that means more milk will have to be shipped into Missouri and that will mean higher prices in the store."

The bill includes an insurance related policy that would pay dairy farmer's premiums up to a certain point so they wouldn't have to pay the premiums themselves.

"It comes out of taxes on current dairy products," says Gunter.  "That fund currently goes into general revenue and it will move from general revenue to this program.  It's no new taxes."

It doesn't only impact dairy farmers, but thousands of others across the state as well.

"If we don't pass this legislation and if the government doesn't sign it, if we have another three to four bad years in a row-- we will lose the processors in this state and we are talking thousands of jobs that work in those 15 processing plants around the state of Missouri," says House Bill 1326 Co-Sponsor Republican Representative Casey Guernsey.

"This is a great thing for dairy farmers in the state of Missouri," says Gunter.

The bill is now awaiting consideration by the Missouri Senate.


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