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NMPF FMMO Modernization Comments Put Farmers First

ARLINGTON, VA | The National Milk Producers Federation, the largest U.S. dairy-farmer organization and the industry’s premier policy voice in Washington, submitted its final, formal legal “brief” on their behalf for Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) modernization to USDA.


The NMPF brief, which was submitted March 29 and hand-delivered to USDA today, emphasized that those farmers are the reason the system exists -- and that, by law, their priorities are pre-eminent in USDA consideration of a final plan. 


“Our proposed package of proposals to the Federal Milk Marketing Order align thoroughly with its mission and purpose, which were intended to put farmers first,” said Gregg Doud, president and CEO of NMPF. “We’ve spent nearly three years painstakingly assembling the broad consensus among dairy farmers that modernization needs to succeed. Our approach is careful and comprehensive, and it benefits farmers of all regions and types of operations.”


NMPF’s proposals include:


  • Returning to the “higher of” Class I mover;

  • Discontinuing the use of barrel cheese in the protein component price formula;

  • Extending 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;

  • Updating milk component factors for protein, other solids and nonfat solids in the Class III and Class IV skim milk price formulas;

  • Developing a process to ensure make-allowances are reviewed more frequently through legislation directing USDA to conduct mandatory plant-cost studies every two years;

  • Updating dairy product manufacturing allowances contained in the USDA milk price formulas; and

  • Updating the Class I differential price system to reflect changes in the cost of delivering bulk milk to fluid processing plants.


In contrast to proposals driven by narrow self-interest, NMPF’s package of proposals reflect its broad-based membership and consensus-driven approach, which resulted in unanimous approval from its Board of Directors last year. With that unity unbroken, Doud said he looked forward to USDA’s consideration of NMPF’s solid hearing record which was built along with its recently submitted brief, as well as the department’s recommended decision expected at the beginning of July. 


“NMPF has taken seriously its role as the policy leader for U.S. dairy farmers and the cooperatives they own, and we continue to draw on the strength of our members,” he said. “Today we’ve taken another big step toward modernization. We continue to look forward to its successful conclusion.”  

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