NMPF Board Unanimously Backs Milk Pricing Package

November 08, 2022

NMPF’s Board of Directors unanimously endorsed a proposal to modernize the Federal Milk Marketing Order system Oct. 25 at its annual meeting in Denver, following months of extensive deliberation on the future of federal milk pricing..

The Board reviewed a package of changes that were initially developed and proposed by a task force of NMPF cooperative experts and later approved by the organization’s Economic Policy Committee. The key recommendations are the result of more than 100 meetings of member and industry experts during 2022. The changes include:

  • Returning to the “higher of” Class I mover;
  • Discontinuing the use of barrel cheese in the protein component price formula;
  • Extending the current 30-day reporting limit to 45 days on forward priced sales on nonfat dry milk and dry whey to capture more exports sales in the USDA product price reporting;
  • Updating milk component factors for protein, other solids and nonfat solids in the Class III and Class IV skim milk price formulas;
  • Developing a process to ensure make-allowances are reviewed more frequently through legislation directing USDA to conduct mandatory plant-cost studies every two years; and
  • Updating dairy product manufacturing allowances contained in the USDA milk price formulas.

The NMPF task force working on these issues still has to finalize certain pricing data involving an examination of Class I price differentials at the county level, work that’s expected to be completed later this year. A final proposal will be reviewed again by the organization before being submitted to USDA as the basis for a federal order hearing.

NMPF Welcomes New Member Co-op, Board Members

November 08, 2022

NMPF welcomed a new member during its Denver meeting last week as the Board of Directors accepted the membership application of Burnett Dairy Cooperative. Burnett Dairy Cooperative is based near Grantsburg, Wisconsin, and was founded in 1896.

The Board also welcomed three new members: Kevin Ellis – Upstate Niagara Cooperative; Jeff Sims – Lone Star Milk Producers and; Cory Vanderham – California Dairies Inc. The organization gave two service recognition awards last week, awarding Honorary Director for Life status to Paul Percy of Agri-Mark and Larry Webster of Upstate Niagara Cooperative.

Young Farmers Convene for Annual Leadership and Development Program

November 08, 2022

NMPF hosted its annual Young Cooperators (YC) Leadership and Development Program Oct. 23-24, attracting 80 young farmers representing eleven member cooperatives to the two-day professional development event in Denver.

The National YC Program aims to provide dairy farmers under the age of 45 with the education, tools and resources they need to enhance their leadership skills to make them more effective managers and more influential leaders. Sessions during this year’s Leadership and Development Program, sponsored by Farm Credit and Phibro Animal Health, included:

  • A leadership lesson with DMI Chairperson Marilyn Hershey;
  • A panel of cooperative leaders discussing future challenges;
  • A transition planning workshop;
  • A primer on federal order pricing;
  • A dairy market outlook;
  • A risk management workshop and farmer panel; and
  • An update on NMPF’s federal order modernization efforts.

Between now and the program’s capstone Dairy Policy and Legislative Forum in June, the YC program will continue to offer monthly, 45-minute webinars on a variety of topics to be determined by the 2023 YC Advisory Council. While these webinars are determined by and geared toward YCs, any NMPF member may participate.

Ellsworth Wins Top Cheese Prize; Scholarship Program Raises $12,000

November 08, 2022

Ellsworth took the top prize, while a yogurt also took high honors in the first-ever inclusion of that category, in prizes awarded in the annual dairy contest held in conjunction with NMPF’s annual meeting.

The NMPF Chairman’s Award went to Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery for their Pepperoni with Marinara Rub cheese, which achieved a 99.8 score. Agri-Mark received the Chairman’s Reserve Award for its 10% Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt, which also won the award for best yogurt. Tillamook County Creamery Association earned the Best Cheddar award for its 2012 Makers Reserve, while Foremost Farms won the best Italian Cheese for its Mozzarella, and Prairie Farms won the Best Cottage Cheese competition as well as the most overall ribbons, with 18.

Some of the other highlights of this year’s meeting at the Gaylord Rockies hotel included:

  • The NMPF Town Hall meeting Tuesday morning, which provided an interactive session with the organization’s staff to explain key policy issues;
  • A look at the current consumer, dairy and retail market landscape from John Crawford of IRI;
  • A presentation from CoBank CEO Tom Halverson about the economic outlook for U.S. agriculture in 2023;
  • An on-stage sustainability podcast with NMPF staff and industry experts;
  • Discussions of current domestic and international sales and strategies for future success;
  • An exploration of nutrition issues and efforts related to various childhood cohorts – from pre-natal to infants to school-aged youths;
  • A forecast on the November elections from The Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman.
  • NMPF and dairy industry organizations promoted next year’s hosting of the IDF World Dairy Summit in Chicago, part of an industry focus on food security over the coming year. The summit was also promoted at a panel held Oct. 20 in Des Moines, Iowa as part of the annual World Food Prize conference.
  • The NMPF National Dairy Leadership Scholarship Program raised more than $12,000 through its annual raffle and fundraising efforts. The scholarship program supports graduate students enrolled in Master’s or doctoral programs who are actively pursuing dairy-related fields of research that directly benefit milk marketing cooperatives and the U.S. dairy industry at large.

Next year’s NMPF meeting will be held November 12-15 at the Rosen Shingle Creek hotel in Orlando, FL.

DMC Pays Again in September

November 08, 2022

The September margin under the Dairy Margin Coverage program was $8.62/cwt, up by $0.54/cwt from the August margin and generating a payment of $0.88/cwt for Tier 1 coverage at the $9.50/cwt level under the program.

The September U.S. average all-milk price rose $0.10/cwt from August. The DMC feed cost formula produced a $0.45/cwt lower feed cost for the month, due almost entirely to lower soybean meal and corn prices (numbers don’t add exactly due to rounding).

Together, the September payment and the August one for $1.42/cwt will return more to producers enrolled for $9.50.cwt Tier 1 coverage than their annual premium payments. Current forecasts indicate that, of the remaining three months in 2022, additional margin coverage payments are most likely to occur in December.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency opened enrollment for both calendar year 2023 DMC and for Supplemental DMC on Oct. 17. The deadline to enroll is Dec. 9, 2022.

NMPF Presses for Supply Chain Progress

November 08, 2022

NMPF and U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) leadership met with Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairman Daniel Maffei on Oct.13 to discuss the implementation of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act and ongoing shipping challenges. The organizations touched on the results of a recent NMPF-USDEC membership survey and the need for further FMC actions to improve shipping flow dynamics, as well as relayed information on persistent backlogs at key ports nationwide.

The organizations followed the meeting with comments filed to the maritime commission Oct. 21, giving input to the agency as it starts rulemaking on prohibiting ocean carriers from unreasonably refusing to deal or negotiate with respect to vessel space accommodations. Given the severe shipping challenges that many dairy exporters have dealt with in the past two years, NMPF sees these proposed rules as a positive step. NMPF supports the agency’s stance that ocean carriers should outline their export strategies, which would balance negotiations and allow shippers to better understand how carriers operate.

Finally, California Governor Gavin Newsom of California on Sept. 30 signed Assembly Bill 2406 into law, placing new limits on the ability of ocean carriers to charge detention and demurrage fees to exporters and truck drivers that were incurred outside of a shipper’s control. NMPF and USDEC support the bill, sending letters in March and August to California Assembly Transportation Committee leadership and Newsom, respectively.

DFA Farmer Named NMPF “Communicator of Year,” Tillamook Recognized Among Co-ops

November 08, 2022

California dairy farmer Melvin Medeiros, a family farm-owner of Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), was named NMPF’s Farmer Communicator of the Year at the organization’s annual gathering of dairy-cooperative communicators Oct. 18. Tillamook earned top overall communications honors among NMPF member co-ops.

Medeiros, who milks around 1,600 cows roughly 30 miles northwest of Visalia, is a member of NMPF’s executive committee. Melvin serves as chair of the Agricultural Council of California’s Dairy Committee, sits on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the California Cares and Environmental Justice Fund Committee. He is also chairman of DFA’s Western Area Council and a member of DFA’s Executive Committee.

He’s also a member of NMPF’s Dairy Voice Network of farmer spokespeople and was profiled in a recent NMPF Farmer Focus. He is the second straight DFA farmer to earn Farmer Communicator of the Year, following last year’s awardee, Charles Krause of Buffalo, MN.

“Melvin is a consistent advocate for dairy,” DFA wrote in its nominating letter. “This year specifically, Melvin testified in front of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture. It’s imperative that dairy farmers tell their story in front of the committees that work on relevant and pertinent farm policy, and we’re proud Melvin was collectively representing dairy farmers alike in front of this committee.

“Producers like Melvin, who tell their story to the congressmen and women alike who are further away from dairy, create a trusted source and sounding board for policy decisions that directly affect dairy farmers.”

Tillamook was recognized for its numerous first-place awards in NMPF’s annual communications contest, highlighted by its “Best in Show” recognition for its 2021 Annual Report, led by Tillamook’s Corporate Communications team.

“Great balance of content across having the required business stats, mixed with content on leadership, cows, dairy products and most importantly the people who make it all happen,” read the judge’s comments in response to one of Tillamook’s prize-winning entries. “Loved the beautiful graphics, product highlights. Unique size/binding of the piece was a nice touch. Well done!”

Medeiros and Tillamook will also be recognized at NMPF’s annual meeting in Denver next week. A full list of the winners of the NMPF communications contest, which received entries from 13 member cooperatives, can be found here.

NMPF, USDEC Strengthen Ties Throughout Latin America

November 08, 2022

NMPF, USDEC and Sociedad Rural Argentina (SRA) announced an agreement Sept. 8 to foster cooperation between the three groups to advocate for science-based regulations across food and agricultural trade policy. SRA, a civil association of agricultural landowners, is an influential economic and political player in Argentina, and will be a valuable partner in advocating for international food policy priorities.

NMPF and USDEC built on the momentum with an agreement finalized Sept. 30 with the Chilean Federacion Nacional de Productores de Leche (Fedeleche). The memorandum of understanding places an emphasis on improving mutual understanding through conferences, seminars and events so that the three organizations can collaborate in fighting for clear, fair, science-based rules.

These latest developments complement the long-standing relationship NMPF and USDEC have cultivated with the Pan-American Dairy Federation (FEPALE), which held its 16th Congress in Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 19-21. NMPF Executive Vice President for Policy Development & Strategy Jaime Castaneda presented on behalf of FEPALE member USDEC at its Board of Directors meeting, supporting collaboration and joint work in international forums. Castaneda discussed supplemental partnership opportunities with dairy farmers in Ecuador that would increase dairy consumption and bilateral trade.

NMPF and USDEC look forward to continuing to expanding and collaborating with their regional partners to promote and defend the image of dairy and increase trade.

NMPF Provides Opportunities for FARM Participants, YCs at World Dairy Expo

November 08, 2022

The National Dairy FARM Program and YC Program joined industry stakeholders in Madison, WI Oct. 3-7 for the 2022 World Dairy Expo, boosting NMPF’s presence at the prestigious event for dairy farmers yet again.

FARM hosted a Lunch & Learn session with Zoetis and Alltech about employee management on, Oct. 6, with a session recording made available here. FARM also co-sponsored a Fitness to Transport “Knowledge Nook” session with Elanco Animal Health on Oct. 7.

The YC Program hosted a workshop, “Road Markers to the Future Business of Milking Cows,” on Oct. 6, in which YCs explored the steps that young and beginning dairy farmers must take to be successful today, and in the future. The session recording is available here. Forty YCs from seven member cooperatives participated in the session and reception later that day.

NMPF also sponsored a panel on the Federal Milk Marketing Order system, “The Future of our Dairy Markets – What Reforms Are Needed?” to introduce FMMO reforms and highlighted the NMPF internship program at the “Career Connections Networking Event”.

FARM Participants Opt-In to the Environmental Stewardship Conservation Practice Questionnaire

November 08, 2022

Since its launch in August, when FARM Environmental Stewardship (ES) launched the Conservation Practice Questionnaire (CPQ), an optional add-on questionnaire to the FARM ES Version 2.0 evaluation. Since its launch, seven FARM Program participants have opted to implement it.

The existing FARM ES evaluation focuses on greenhouse gas emissions and energy use; this conservation questionnaire goes beyond these topics to ask about dairy farmers’ field and dairy-level conservation practices to capture a more holistic sustainability story. The questionnaire addresses areas covered in the industry’s 2050 environmental stewardship goals along with other topics that are of growing interest to customers and consumers.

Organizations that participate in FARM ES Version 2.0 have the option to voluntarily sign on to use the CPQ. Organizations may also choose not to use the CPQ with no impact on their participation in FARM ES. Interested participants should email dairyfarm@nmpf.org.

October CWT-Assisted Dairy Export Sales Totaled 5.1 Million Pounds

November 08, 2022

CWT member cooperatives secured 39 contracts in October, adding five million pounds of American-type cheeses and 77,000 pounds of cream cheese to CWT-assisted sales in 2022. In milk equivalent, this is equal to 47 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis. These products will go to customers in Asia, Central America, Europe and Middle East-North Africa, and will be shipped from October through April 2022.

CWT-assisted 2022 dairy product sales contracts year-to-date total 86.1 million pounds of American-type cheese, 657,000 pounds of butter, 7.6 million pounds of cream cheese and 30.3 million pounds of whole milk powder. This brings the total milk equivalent for the year to 1.090 billion pounds on a milkfat basis.

Exporting dairy products is critical to the viability of dairy farmers and their cooperatives across the country. Whether or not a cooperative is actively engaged in exporting cheese, butter, anhydrous milkfat, cream cheese, or whole milk powder, moving products into world markets is essential. CWT provides a means to move domestic dairy products to overseas markets by helping to overcome U.S. dairy’s trade disadvantages.

The amounts of dairy products and related milk volumes reflect current contracts for delivery, not completed export volumes. CWT will pay export assistance to the bidders only when export and delivery of the product is verified by the submission of the required documentation.