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New farm bill does not include MILC

Federal lawmakers from dairy states are upset after the first version of the five-year farm bill did not include the current safety net for dairy farmers.

The opening draft was released Wednesday. And it has nothing for the Milk Income Loss Contract program which subsidizes farmers when their market prices fall below certain levels.

Wisconsin's family farms have taken the most advantage of the program but lawmakers from New York State say it's important to them, too.

Republican Randy Kuhl says his colleagues are abandoning small- to medium-sized dairy farms and that should not be acceptable.

Lawmakers will meet today (Thursday) to consider changes to the farm bill and the milk program supporters will ask that the measure be put back in.

Collin Peterson, House Ag Committee chairman, says it would be easier to renew the program as part of a new compromise funding bill for the Iraq war that's up for a vote this week.

The milk program expires in August, a month before the rest of the farm bill runs out.