Dairy Producers Encouraged to Register for NMPF Annual Meeting

September 07, 2011

Registration is open for those wishing to attend the 2011 annual meeting that NMPF hosts jointly with the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board and the United Dairy Industry Association. This year’s meeting will be held November 14 – 16 at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego, CA.

With the theme of “Navigating a New Course,” the meeting offers attendees several days of informative programming in addition to opportunities to interact and network with dairy producers and industry leaders from across the country. Dairy producers, cooperative staff, Young Cooperators (YCs), industry suppliers, trade press, and others from within the dairy sector are all invited to attend.

Individual and group meeting registration, along with hotel reservations, can be made online at www.dairyevents.com. Although online registration is preferred, a registration form may also be filled out and submitted via mail or fax. Online, mail, and fax registration must be submitted with payment by Monday, October 24. Visit www.nmpf.org/nmpf-joint-annual-meeting for more information about the annual meeting.

Mexico Trucking Agreement Reached, Implementation Delayed

September 07, 2011

The United States and Mexico signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on July 6, 2011 formally outlining a pilot program to allow Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to operate throughout the United States.

Despite concern raised in a recent report by the Inspector General of the U.S. Transportation Department, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is ready for implementation of the U.S. – Mexico cross border trucking program. Some areas of concern in the Transportation Department IG’s report are: clarification of how it will accomplish compliance reviews inside Mexico’s borders, site specific plans for verification of drivers and trucks at the border, implementation plans for electronic on board recorders for pilot program trucks, and training for inspection personnel for the pilot program.

In addition, Department of Transportation (DOT) has stated that approximately 46 Mexican carrier companies will need to participate in the pilot cross-border trucking program before it terminates in three years. A Federal Register notice stated that this “statistically valid sample” must be achieved by the pilot program before a longer-term cross-border trucking program can be implemented. However, analysts suggest that, absent a longer-term cross-border trucking program, Mexico is entitled under NAFTA to re-impose “retaliatory tariffs” on US goods previously lifted.

CWT Continues to Build Exports

September 07, 2011

The Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) Export Assistance program continued in August to assist CWT member cooperatives in exporting dairy products to benefit all dairy farmers. Last month, CWT accepted requests for export assistance totaling 4.6 million pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese to six different countries in Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. The product will be delivered in 2011.

That brings the total cheese that CWT has provided assistance for in 2011 to 62.3 million pounds of cheese export sales. When combined with the export sales it assisted in 2010 that have been or will be delivered in 2011, a total of 86 million pounds of cheese will be leaving the domestic market in 2011. That’s equivalent to 860 million pounds of milk, or the annual production of over 40,000 cows.

CWT will continue to assist CWT member cooperatives in building overseas markets of U.S. cheese through the remainder of 2011.

The program also continues to build membership participation for 2012-13 with a goal of achieving the 70 percent level. As of August 31st, 16 cooperatives representing 41 percent of the nation’s milk production have joined CWT for the next two years.

There is no question that moving the equivalent of 860 million pounds of milk overseas enhances the milk price every dairy farmer receives. That’s why every cooperative, whether they export dairy products or not, should be making the two-cent per hundredweight investment in CWT.

House Subcommittee to Review Dairy Federal Dairy Programs Thursday

September 07, 2011

The House Agriculture Livestock, Poultry and Dairy Subcommittee will host a dairy audit hearing on Thursday, September 8. The hearing witnesses will only include U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS). A video stream from the hearing, which starts at 2 pm EDT, is available here.

USDA will testify and answer questions regarding current dairy policies and programs. NMPF will be preparing written testimony for the record outlining why Foundation for the Future (FFTF) is the best approach for reforming dairy programs. For more information on FFTF, please visit www.futurefordairy.com.

Dairy Legislation Among Items Congress Expected to Deal With This Fall

September 07, 2011

Congress returns to Washington this week with a busy agenda, including a heavy focus on economic issues, such as the Obama Administration’s unveiling of a new job growth plan, and the first meeting of the congressional budget-cutting “super committee,” both set for tomorrow.

Dairy policy is also likely to be a lively topic, as House Agriculture Committee Ranking Democrat Collin Peterson prepares to formally introduce legislation modeled after NMPF’s Foundation for the Future package. Last month, Congressman Mike Simpson of Idaho’s second district, a senior Republican from one of the largest dairy states, announced he will be a cosponsor of the draft legislation, once it is introduced. The current draft is available online.

NMPF believes Simpson’s support is “an important step in demonstrating the bipartisan, national scope of the effort to reform dairy policy,” according to NMPF President and CEO Jerry Kozak. “We’ve come a long way in the past two years in devising a sensible compromise approach to new dairy policy. While still have a great deal of work ahead of us, the advent of legislation based on Foundation for the Future is a huge opportunity to make badly-needed changes in the status quo system.”

Peterson, along with Simpson, will now be seeking additional cosponsors, in both parties, to cosponsor the legislation.