SHAHEEN RECOMMENDS STEPHEN TAYLOR OF PLAINFIELD FOR USDA DAIRY ADVISORY BOARD

With Decades of Experience, Taylor Highly Qualified to Advise Secretary Vilsack on Milk Marketing System

July 13, 2009

(Washington, DC)-U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen has recommended that Stephen Taylor be appointed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's commission to review the federal milk marketing order system, which will advise Secretary Vilsack on top issues facing dairy farmers across New Hampshire and the nation. Taylor, a former New Hampshire Commissioner of Agriculture, has been engaged in agriculture policy on the state and federal-level for more than 25 years.  

"The federal milk marketing order system has left our dairy farmers in dire economic straits," said Shaheen in the letter to Vilsack. "They need a commission of dairy advocates with a strong grasp of the issues facing the industry. I am confident that Steve's experience will provide an important and valuable voice on the commission."

In a visit to Concord last week, Vilsack announced that he had directed his staff to start assembling a commission to review the federal milk pricing system.

The full text of the letter follows:

July 10, 2009

The Honorable Tom Vilsack

United States Department of Agriculture

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20250

Dear Secretary Vilsack,

It is my pleasure to write to you in strong support of Stephen H. Taylor to serve on a Commission to review the Federal Milk Marketing Order System, or on any outside advisory committee you create.

As a dairy farmer and New Hampshire's Commissioner of Agriculture for 25 years, Steve is particularly well-suited to the important work of examining the federal milk marketing order system. Throughout his career, Steve has impressed farmers, policymakers, and consumers in New Hampshire and across the country with his ability to understand the challenges local farmers face and the complexities of the change agricultural economy. Four governors appointed him to five terms as Commissioner because he demonstrated a deep understanding of agriculture policy and an ability to communicate with farmers, legislators and New Hampshire citizens.

During his time as Commissioner of Agriculture, Steve also gained valuable experience at the regional and national levels, serving as President of both the Northeast Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NEASDA) and National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). In these roles, Steve worked with a variety of state interests to develop, implement and communicate public policies that supported the regional and American agriculture industries. As President and a member of the Executive Board of NASDA, Steve has been acknowledged by his colleagues as a national leader in agriculture policy.

Recently retired, Steve has returned to work on a dairy and maple farm in Plainfield, New Hampshire, which his family has owned and operated since 1970. Since leaving office he has maintained his interest and knowledge of local and national agriculture policy issues. Most recently Steve served on President Obama's campaign advisory committee on agriculture. Steve was also appointed to the board of Yankee Farm Credit, which serves as the main source of financing for Vermont, New Hampshire and New York farmers.

As you know from your recent trip to New Hampshire, the Federal Milk Marketing order system has left our dairy farmers in dire economic straits. They need a commission of dairy advocates with a strong grasp of the issues facing the industry. I am confident that Steve's experience will provide an important and valuable voice on the commission.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have any questions or if there is anything further I can do to support Steve's nomination.

Sincerely,

Jeanne Shaheen

United States Senator

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