June 7, 2023
USDA has tentatively set Aug. 23 as the date for a hearing to revise the Federal Milk Marketing Order system. Details are expected to be announced at a later date.
The news comes after the National Milk Producers Federation submitted a proposal they say would modernize the FMMO system. The American Farm Bureau Federation later joined the NMPF in calling for an FMMO hearing.
“We’re gratified that USDA recognizes the comprehensive nature of our proposal and are looking forward to it being considered in full, because the whole of our plan adds up to more than the sum of its individual parts,” NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern says. “We will bring the same level of dedication and preparation to this part of the process that we did in drafting our own plan, which included more than 150 meetings and wide consultation across dairy producers and the entire industry.”
In conjunction with their announcement, USDA released an initial pre-hearing schedule for the rulemaking process should Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack choose to proceed.
Additional proposals will be accepted through 5 p.m. EST on June 14. USDA will then host a virtual pre-hearing information session on June 16. Following that session, modified proposals would be due by the end of the day on June 20. If all goes as expected, a formal hearing notice will be published sometime in late July.
According to NMPF Chairman Randy Mooney, momentum for updating the FMMO system is a testament to the power of dairy farmers working through their cooperatives to undertake bold initiatives that advance their industry. He believes farmers will continue to lead as modernization moves forward.
“Dairy producers have proven throughout this process that, with unity and careful attention to each other’s needs, we can achieve impressive things,” he says. “Dairy’s strength comes from its farms, and producers ready to face challenges and seize opportunities. We’re excited to begin the formal hearing process.”
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