Margin Protection Program workshops for dairy producers to be held in Freeport, Centralia

The 2014 Farm Bill provides the most comprehensive reform to the U.S. federal dairy farm safety net seen in decades. In place of milk price and revenue support programs the new Farm Bill creates a new Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers (MPP). MPP is a voluntary program which places an emphasis on protecting income over feed cost margins. MPP protects against severe downturns in the milk price, rising livestock feed prices, or a combination of both.

Dairy farm families now have a voluntary safety net program that helps them through tough times and keeps pace with the challenges facing the U.S. dairy industry. MPP is a flexible program that allows a dairy operator to self-select coverage options to protect the farm against declines in national average production margins. Different coverage options reflect a producer's ability to protect different margin levels (from $4 to $8 per hundredweight) and different coverage percentages (from 25% to 90%). MPP is administered by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Illinois as lead for the National Coalition for Producer Education has partnered with the National Program on Dairy Markets and Policy to develop a web-based decision tool for MPP dairy. At this workshop, Dr. John Newton will lead discussions on the new MPP program, explain how it may help dairy operators manage financial risk, review key sign-up and enrollment dates, and will engage participants in hands on activities using the new USDA sponsored MPP decision tool. Also, at this meeting Dr. Phil Cardoso will discuss the Dairy Focus toolbox that will enhance farmers’ understanding of income over feed cost (IOFC). Understanding of IOFC is pivotal in defining the best margin level and coverage percentage for you farm.

The workshops are entitled “Are You Ready for the MPP?” One will be held on Monday, September 15th from 10:00am – noon in room H210 in the Student Conference Center at Highland Community College (2998 W. Pearl City Road in Freeport, IL). Another will be held on Tuesday, September 30th from 10:00am – noon in the Lifelong Learning center at Kaskaskia College (27210 College Road in Centralia, IL). There is no cost; however, pre-registration is required.

To register for the Freeport workshop, please call 815-235-4125 or go online: For the Centralia workshop, call 618-526-4551 or visit

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Nikki Keltner
Program Coordinator
University of Illinois Extension, Stephenson County

PDF flyer for the workshop