The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced it will hold a hearing starting on Tuesday, September 22 at 9:00 a.m. at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Building, 808 Fourth Street, Clovis, to discuss a proposal to establish a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO). Dairy operators are highly encouraged to attend and take an active role in shaping a potential milk pricing system.
The public hearing is being held to consider and take evidence on a proposal that would establish a FMMO to regulate the handling of milk in California. In February, AMS received a formal hearing request from California Dairies, Inc.; Land O Lakes, Inc.; and Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. to establish a FMMO in California. AMS also received additional proposals from the Dairy Institute of California, the California Producer Handlers Association, and Ponderosa Dairy. The proposals incorporate the same dairy product classification system used throughout the FMMO system. Additional features would recognize California quota premium and fluid milk fortification values.
The California dairy industry represents 20 percent of all U.S. milk production and is currently regulated under a state marketing order. The 2014 Farm Bill allows for a California FMMO that recognizes certain state-specific aspects of the current order, if recommended by USDA and approved by California dairy producers.
For a copy of the announcement and copies of the proposals visit //www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/moa/dairy/ca. USDA has not taken a position on any of the proposals.
The hearing will be overseen by an impartial Administrative Law Judge who will ensure testimony and evidence presented fall within the scope of what is contained in the Notice of Hearing.