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NMPF Board Calls for Milk-Pricing Fairness, Leads on H5N1 Response

July 8, 2024

NMPF leadership expressed confidence that farmers would soon see a fairer federal system for milk pricing and highlighted dairy farmers’ robust response to H5N1 influenza in dairy cattle at the organization’s Board of Directors meeting June 4-5.

“Even with all the stresses on the farm, there’s still not a better industry,” said Randy Mooney, a dairy farmer from Rogersville, MO, and a member of the Dairy Farmers of America cooperative, in remarks at the meeting. “I’m proud of where we’re at, producing high quality, nutritious food for the consumer. It’s amazing how dairy farmers do it.”

Board members spent two days reviewing recent policy developments, including Federal Milk Marketing Order deliberations, the progress of the 2024 Farm Bill, and up-to-date information on H5N1, which has led to significant federal and farmer investments in biosecurity and testing. NMPF Chief Science Officer Dr. Jamie Jonker led discussion on the issue.

The meeting was held with NMPF’s annual Young Cooperators fly-in (see separate story), in which young dairy farmers meet with lawmakers to advocate for the industry. Dairy farmers urged passage of a Farm Bill, expanded market access for U.S. dairy products and federal action toward integrity in milk labeling, restricting the use of dairy terms to animal products in line with Food and Drug Administration standards.

The Board also examined potential improvements to the NMPF-led Cooperatives Working Together program (see separate story), the 21-year-old farmer self-help initiative that is up for renewal after 2024. A member task force has been weighing a range of options to expand the use of CWT’s export assistance program. The NMPF Board approved a series of five directional goals for CWT as it considers the program’s parameters in 2025 and beyond.

The board also elected three new members: Dave Peterson of Minnesota, representing Associated Milk Producers, Inc.; Alex Peterson of Missouri, representing Dairy Farmers of America; and Mike Schoneveld of Washington, representing Darigold.