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USDA Sets Aug. 23 FMMO Hearing, NMPF Plan as Basis

August 2, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announced plan for a hearing beginning this month on modernizing the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) system reflects the comprehensive approach to improvement carefully crafted by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), an emphatically positive development for dairy farmers.

“Dairy farmers nationwide are grateful that USDA is moving forward by including the full scope of NMPF’s proposal to guide the dairy industry forward as it modernizes the Federal Milk Marketing Order system,” said Randy Mooney, a dairy farmer near Rogersville, MO, and chairman of NMPF’s Board of Directors, in a statement released July 21, the day plans for the hearing were announced.

The hearing will begin on Aug. 23 in Carmel, IN, and is expected to last several weeks. NMPF’s cooperative-led effort will be involved in every significant topic, reflecting its detailed proposal and the nationwide scope of its effort.

“This recognition of NMPF’s consensus-based leadership allows us to continue the substantial momentum for change that we’ve achieved,” Mooney said in his statement. “Each piece of our proposal, from returning to the “higher-of” Class I mover as soon as possible, to updating both Class I price differentials and manufacturing cost allowances, has been crucial toward building that consensus, and all components of our plan are critical to a successful update to this important program.

“There is still a long journey ahead toward a modernized federal order system that works better for farmers, but NMPF is ready, with co-op led efforts well under way to ensure that we are well-prepared for the FMMO hearing,” Mooney said. “We’re excited to lead this industry toward solutions that will offer benefits for everyone, and we are gratified that USDA is showing thoughtful leadership through its responsiveness and support for dairy.”