USDA sets FMMO hearing date

Announcement praised by dairy industry advocates.

Joshua Baethge, Policy editor

July 24, 2023

2 Min Read
USDA sets FMMO hearing date

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced it will hold public hearings on proposals to amend the 11 Federal Milk Marketing Order pricing formulas. The first hearing will take place on Aug. 23 in Carmel, Indiana. Leaders from multiple dairy industry groups applauded the decision.

“We are extremely pleased to see that the Class I mover formula will be addressed in the national hearing's scope, including the proposals from the National Milk Producers Federation and American Farm Bureau to go back to the ‘higher of’ method,” American Dairy Coalition CEO Laurie Fischer says. “We support this, and we know it was the one item that received the most complete consensus at the Farm Bureau’s stakeholder forum last October in Kansas City.”

The decision to hold FMMO hearings had been expected since early June when USDA announced a tentative pre-hearing schedule for the rulemaking processes. That move was in response to petitions submitted by the National Milk Producers Federation, the International Dairy Foods Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation, among others.

NMPF Board Chairman Randy Mooney says dairy farmers across the country are grateful that USDA has decided to proceed with revamping the system.

“There is still a long journey ahead toward a modernized federal order system that works better for farmers, but NMPF is ready, with co-op led efforts well underway to ensure that we are well-prepared for the FMMO hearing that begins next month,” Mooney says.

According to the Agricultural Marketing Service release, 22 proposals will be considered. Dairy farmers and interested parties will be allowed to testify during the proceedings.

The International Dairy Foods Association has two proposals under consideration. IDFA chief economist Mike Brown says his organization intends to provide compelling, fact-based arguments supporting its proposals. He adds that the IDSA hopes to unify the dairy industry around ideas that are in the best inters of the full dairy supply chain.

“We’re pleased to see the Department move forward with the Federal Order hearing, and we fully expect UDSA will ensure all voices are heard, all proposals and presentations are fact-based, and the staff at USDA are working in the best interest of the full dairy supply chain rather than just one set of constituents,” Brown says.

About the Author(s)

Joshua Baethge

Policy editor, Farm Progress

Joshua Baethge covers a wide range of government issues affecting agriculture. Before joining Farm Progress, he spent 10 years as a news and feature reporter in Texas. During that time, he covered multiple state and local government entities, while also writing about real estate, nightlife, culture and whatever else was the news of the day.

Baethge earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts, discovering new restaurants, finding excuses to be outside and traveling as much as possible. He is based in the Dallas area where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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