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NMPF Unanimously Endorses Marketing Order Modernization Plan in Annual Meeting

October 25, 2022

National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) leadership unanimously endorsed a proposal to modernize the Federal Milk Marketing Order milk-pricing system at its annual meeting in Denver, which concludes tomorrow. It also welcomed new directors — as well as a new member.

“Dairy is positioned to be a trusted anchor in an uncertain world,” said NMPF Chairman Randy Mooney in remarks at the meeting, part of a joint event held by NMPF, the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board and the United Dairy Industry Association. “Together we can seize opportunities to feed the world. Our product is one of the most nutritionally valuable foods available. We create vibrant rural communities that keep America strong by helping to retain local schools, build energy independence, preserve the environment, and ensure food security for everyone.”

Central to discussions was recommendations developed on federal milk pricing after more than 100 meetings that have taken place over the past year. NMPF’s Board of Directors endorsed a proposal that:

  • Returns to the “higher of” Class I mover;
  • Discontinues including barrel cheese in the protein component price formula;
  • Extends 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;
  • Updates milk component factors for protein, other solids and nonfat solids in the Class III and Class IV skim milk price formulas;
  • Develops a process to ensure make-allowances are reviewed more frequently through legislation directing USDA to conduct mandatory plant-cost studies every two years; and
  • Updates dairy product manufacturing allowances contained in the USDA milk price formulas.

NMPF continues work on the Class I milk price surface as it examines information on county-level Class I price differentials. That work is expected to be completed later this year. Any final proposal will be reviewed by the organization before it’s submitted to USDA to be considered for a federal order hearing.

“We have made tremendous progress and are moving forward with the strong level of consensus in the producer community that we will need to achieve our goals of modernization,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “We’ve had many challenging conversations that were important to getting to a national consensus because of the regional nature of federal milk orders. But the give and take that’s needed to get to anything important done will place the entire industry on a sounder footing, creating a lasting benefit for all.”

NMPF, whose member cooperatives produce more than two-thirds of the nation’s milk, also welcomed Burnett Dairy Cooperative to its membership. Burnett Dairy Cooperative, based near Grantsburg, WI and founded in 1896, is one of the nation’s few remaining full-service cheese-producing cooperatives. It is a frequent winner at both national and worldwide cheese contests.

New directors elected to the Board of Directors and approved by NMPF delegates in 2022 include:

  • Jeff Sims – Lone Star Milk Producers
  • Kevin Ellis – Upstate Niagara Cooperative
  • Cory Vanderham – California Dairies Inc.

NMPF also held its annual dairy contest in conjunction with the meeting. 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 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. Prairie Farms won the Best Cottage Cheese competition and also gained the most ribbons among co-ops participating in the contest, with 18.