Sen. Ron Johnson Voted Against a Program for Farmers Four Years Ago. Now He Wants Them to Apply

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

By Keya Vakil

October 27, 2022

The Dairy Margin Coverage program to help farmers weather tough market forces was authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill—legislation that Sen. Ron Johnson voted against. But in a recent tweet, Johnson encouraged farmers in Wisconsin to apply for the program, without mentioning his no vote.

Sen. Ron Johnson recently encouraged farmers in Wisconsin to enroll in a government program that helps them manage changes in milk and feed prices and offers protection from market turmoil. But what Johnson left unsaid is that he voted against creating the program back in 2018.

On Oct. 20, Johnson issued a tweet, recommending that farmers in Wisconsin enroll in the  2023 Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program in order to help them deal with rising costs.

The DMC program is a safety net program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that effectively serves as a form of insurance for farmers to help them navigate potentially negative changes in market prices. 

The USDA describes the DMC as a “voluntary program that provides dairy operations with risk management coverage that will pay producers when the difference (the margin) between the national price of milk and the average cost of feed falls below a certain level selected by the program participants.”

The program is open to all eligible dairy operations throughout the country and offers different levels of coverage. The DMC program was authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill—legislation that Johnson voted against.

At the time, Johnson said he voted no because the bill also included spending that funded food assistance programs for economically disadvantaged families. He was one of only 13 Senators to vote no on the bill. 

In contrast, fellow Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, voted for the bill and has championed the program. 

Farmers can learn more about the Dairy Margin Coverage program here. Applications are open through Dec. 9, 2022. 


  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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