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USDA Holds First Meeting of Dairy Industry Advisory Committee

May 4, 2010


USDA Holds First Meeting of Dairy Industry Advisory Committee

The U.S. Department of Agriculture convened the first meeting of its Dairy Industry Advisory Committee April 13th through the 15th. The 17 members of the committee included producers and producer representatives, processors, state government, retail, and academia. In total, NMPF member representatives included five member producers and two cooperative CEOs.

USDA Secretary Vilsack opened the meeting by saying that the group’s genesis was in the dairy crisis of 2009. He stated that the industry “needs to get control of itself” and challenged the committee to come up with a common-sense solution. His charge to the committee was to come up with something within a year.

Following comments by the committee members, a series of background reports from USDA staff, and Dr. Scott Brown of FAPRI, were presented to the committee.

USDA staff reports continued the morning of the second day, including a review of the Dairy Options Pilot Program, and the Livestock Gross Margin Insurance Program.

Jim Tillison, NMPF Senior Vice President, gave a report on the Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) program activities from its inception in 2003 to the present. NMPF President and CEO Jerry Kozak presented an overview of Foundation for the Future, and answered a number of questions from committee members primarily focused on the Dairy Producer Income Protection Plan. Connie Tipton, CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), presented her members’ thoughts and concerns regarding future dairy programs. She was followed by representatives from the Milk Producers Council of California, who discussed its Dairy Price Stabilization Plan.

More information on USDA’s Dairy Industry Advisory Council can be found at