USDA is holding a Federal Milk Marketing Order hearing starting August 23 in Carmel, Indiana. American Farm Bureau Federation Economist Danny Munch says USDA will consider 21 proposals during the hearing.
“The primary proposal was from National Milk Producers Federation’s original proposal made on May 1. The American Farm Bureau Federation, we got an additional four proposals and there’s a bunch of proposals from numerous other groups that will be considered as well. The USDA is going to allow dairy farmers to testify throughout this hearing.”
Munch says there are two ways farmers can participate in the hearing.
“You can either testify in-person or virtually. The in-person option, farmers can show up at any time. All they have to do is find a USDA official and they’ll have up to 60 minutes to provide context and testimony on any of the issues. If farmers are interested in testifying virtually, they have to pre-register on the Monday of the week they hope to testify on and then they will be able to testify on that Friday. They expect the hearing to last potentially three to four weeks or more so farmers will have up to four weeks or more to testify virtually.”
Virtual registration will be available at ams.usda.gov. Munch says it’s important USDA hears from dairy farmers.
“Federal Milk Marketing Orders influence how dairy farmers are paid every month and historically has always been based on dairy farmer input. So, it’s important for dairy farmers to make their voices heard, how has the federal milk marking order impacted them in the past several years and how can we advocate for a system that’s modernized and more reflective of what the Federal Milk Marketing Order system is meant to provide, which is a fair market price for farmers.”