Dairy producer group to seek federal order hearing soon

Dairy producers might be closer to getting a hearing to discuss milk pricing issues.

Jim Mulhern with the National Milk Producers Federation tells Brownfield their board has spent the past year and a half working on the federal order modernization effort. “We look forward this year to now taking these proposals that were adopted by our board and putting them in the form of a proposal to take to USDA for requesting a national federal order hearing.”

Mulhern says the federal orders have not undergone significant change in more than twenty years, and like any program, it needs to be updated regularly. “We’ve had a task force of marketing experts, producers, our economic policy committee, our board of directors, well over 100 meetings over the last year to look deeply at this program and develop recommendations.”

Mulhern says NMPF looks forward to taking their recommendations to USDA to request a federal milk marketing order soon. “Our target date to do so is late (in the) first quarter of this year. When we submit our proposal, that will trigger a timeline at USDA. I do expect a high likelihood of federal order hearings conducted by the department.”

Mulhern says once the hearing is requested, it will take time for USDA to make that happen.

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