|ARLINGTON, VA – From Gregg Doud, President and CEO, National Milk Producers Federation:
“NMPF spent more than two years preparing for USDA’s Federal Order hearing, and that preparation paid off. Our proposals, unanimously supported by our Board of Directors, reflect farmer unity and a good-faith effort to build industry consensus. After five months, 12,000 pages of testimony, and almost two dozen separate proposals considered, our plan remains the most comprehensive, coherent, and compelling framework for modernizing a system that’s badly in need of improvement. We look forward to working with USDA and the entire industry in the weeks and months to come, noting that any plan USDA designs will by necessity require complex analysis to result in a proposal that serves diverse farmer needs well.
“In the meantime, we’ll continue to advocate for badly needed changes in areas such as the Class I mover. The current formula has cost farmers $1.2 billion in losses since its implementation after the 2018 farm bill, with additional losses expected in the coming months. It needs to change back to the previous “higher-of’ formula that served farmers best. The higher-of responds quickly to the marketplace, it helps farmer cash flow, it’s simple to understand, and it would have no real impact on processors who are using the formula to boost their immediate balance sheets, not manage future risk as they claim.
“Dating to NMPF’s first internal discussions, our path toward FMMO modernization is now nearly three years old. This final year is the most critical. We are excited to continue our leadership in this critical area, and will, as always, fight for the best approaches to ensure that dairy farms prosper.”