Its Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) hearing now concluded, USDA is now considering more than 12,000 pages of testimony as it formulates its plan for FMMO modernization. NMPF is still doing what it can to ensure that proposal best reflects the interest of dairy farmers and their cooperatives, two NMPF economists said in a Dairy Defined podcast.
The key to successful modernization is a comprehensive approach that addresses the complexity of federal orders in a way that respects the entire dairy industry while keeping in mind that orders most fundamentally must work for farmers, Dr. Peter Vitaliano, Vice President for Economic Policy and Market Research, and Stephen Cain, Senior Director for Economic Research and Analysis at NMPF. That’s always been the bedrock principle behind NMPF proposals on areas ranging from returning to the “higher-of” Class I mover to updating milk composition factors.
“What separates National Milk’s proposals from processor groups is more of our holistic approach,” Cain said. “You can’t look at the federal order system having not been updated in 20 years and not address all facets of the industry, right? You can’t say in good faith that Class I differentials need to be updated because costs have gone up without also conceding the fact that make allowances need to go up for the same reason. So we took that holistic approach. That is going to help move the industry forward together.” Cain and Vitaliano also discuss USDA’s decision-making timeline, and why July could be the key moment for FMMO modernization. The full podcast is here.