Edge CEO comments on milk marketing order reform

The leader of a dairy cooperative says it is time to evaluate the milk pricing system and find possible solutions to issues that harmed dairy farmers over the past few years.  CEO Tim Trotter with Edge Dairy Farmers Cooperative tells Brownfield the run-up in the cheese markets changed the dynamics in the milk pricing system. “Nobody saw that coming first of all and nobody is to blame. What we’re looking for is just kind of a re-evaluation of the whole system and just trying to re-imagine what it would look like more for the farmers of the future rather than, you know, just making little tweaks to the current system.”

Trotter says whenever an anomaly or pandemic happens, that’s when everyone finds out what in the marketplace is not working well. “There needs to be a lot of collaboration and needs a lot of discussions. As Secretary Vilsack said, he would really like to see consensus around this, and we believe that’s the right approach because we need to think big, think different, and that might take some time, so we’re excited to start the conversation.”

Trotter says it’s time to evaluate the nearly-100-year-old federal milk marketing orders, but allow individual orders to adapt and be flexible since differing milk sheds have different obstacles.  He says a uniform one-size-fits-all approach would not be sustainable, and relationships between farmers and processors should be built upon common values, trust, and transparency.

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