United for dairy - Farm leaders advocate for fair pricing

USAgNet - 04/03/2024

The American Farm Bureau Federation alongside the National Farmers Union, are spearheading efforts for modernizing the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) system. Their collaboration has resulted in a joint letter to the USDA, emphasizing the necessity of halting updates to make allowances—essentially the costs and credits for processing raw milk into products like cheese and butter—until a mandatory survey encompassing all dairy processors is completed.

This cooperative stance arises from concerns that current proposals for adjusting make allowances are based on voluntary surveys, which might not accurately represent the industry's full spectrum. The farm groups argue that any adjustments could significantly impact dairy farmers' income and, therefore, should only proceed on the foundation of comprehensive and mandatory data collection.

The FMMO modernization process involves several steps, including the review of post-hearing briefs and the publication of proposed decisions in the Federal Register. A critical part of this process is ensuring that the dairy farmers, who have the final say through a voting process, are making their decisions based on complete and accurate information. The collaboration between these two farm organizations highlights their commitment to representing the interests of dairy farmers across the country.

This initiative reflects a significant moment in agricultural advocacy, showcasing a united front to safeguard the interests of dairy farmers. It's a call for a pause on make allowance updates, advocating for a decision-making process that is informed, fair, and inclusive. By emphasizing the need for a mandatory survey of all processors, these organizations aim to ensure that any changes to the dairy pricing formula benefit the entire industry, reinforcing the importance of farmer voices in shaping their future.

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