Congressman Jim Costa and top house agriculture democrat, Congressman Colin Peterson, met with Valley dairy farmers on Thursday. They discussed the latest efforts to get a five year farm bill passed before the end of the year.
Lawmakers are focused first on proposed reforms to replace the outdated and costly subsidy system of direct cash payments to producers. Valley dairy farmers say they need answers now, because the price of milk and other dairy products are set to skyrocket in 2013 if congress fails to pass a new bill.
"We have only three weeks left of session. We're working very hard in these last three weeks as a part of a overhaul agreement to produce a farm bill. We're not there yet. We're close," said Rep. Jim Costa (D) Fresno.
Valley dairy producers have already suffered steep losses from jumps in feed corn prices this year. In California alone, 100 farmers have been forced to file for bankruptcy.