WUD: Advancing and Promoting the
Interests of Our Dairy Producers
Western United Dairymen is a voluntary membership organization representing more than 60% of the milk produced in California. Membership benefits include resources in labor law, environmental regulations and pricing issues. Members decide the direction of state and federal legislative efforts affecting the dairy industry.
URGENT: California Federal Milk Marketing Order Hearing Sept. 22
Below is a summary to help you understand the history, details and potential impact of the proposed FMMO.
What is WUD's position on a CA FMMO? On February 20, 2015, the Board of Directors made a unanimous motion to support the FMMO proposal as submitted by the cooperatives.
What has WUD done so far? The BOD has always been working to improve prices received by California dairy producers, but has made it a particular focus since 2008, when prices received in California started to diverge significantly from prices received in the rest of the country. Through efforts at the California Department of Food and Agriculture and by serving on the California Dairy Future Task Force, WUD board members have showed a commitment to improving prices in the state. Through constant engagement with the coops and educational forums for producers, WUD has showed a clear commitment to exploring the FMMO hearing process since 2011. WUD has been a strong advocate for the coops proposal since it was submitted in February 2015.
What is WUD planning to do? WUD will present an extensive testimony at the hearing in support of the coops’ proposal and in opposition to the Dairy Institute’s proposal. The testimony will include thorough economic justification for a system that will benefit California dairy producers. California dairy families have been at a significant disadvantage to their federal order counterparts: it’s time to bring some fairness into what producers are being paid in the golden state. Ultimately, once USDA drafts what a California FMMO will look like, the voting decision will be borne by producers and/or their coops. WUD will provide outreach and educational material throughout the process so that members are well informed. This hearing could lead to changing a system we have been living with since 1969.
What proposal will be voted on? Despite the fact that producer interest is well aligned for this hearing, it does not mean that USDA has to adopt the coops proposal. Other proposals were submitted to USDA, and the agency will also have to weigh their validity throughout the process. After hearing all testimony, USDA will determine what a FMMO for California should look like. WUD will work toward tilting the balance in favor of the coops proposal. The main competing interest in this process is the Dairy Institute of California (DI) who also submitted a proposal to USDA.
What is the potential impact of the proposals submitted to USDA? According to USDA, the coops proposal would: increase the CA all milk price by $1.03/cwt and increase CA milk production by 540 million pounds. The DI’s proposal would: increase the CA all milk price by $0.10/cwt; increase CA milk production by 60 million pounds; and erode the number of dairy producers participating in the quota blend price, until the quota pool no longer exists.
What's next? The hearing is set on September 22, in Clovis at the Veterans Memorial Building, 808 Fourth St., Clovis. Anyone is welcomed to testify, and WUD members who would like assistance in preparing for the hearing can contact WUD. Since there has not been a USDA dairy promulgation hearing (creation of a new hearing) since 1990, the expected timeline is partly based on speculation. Below is a schedule for reference, but keep in mind it is subject to change as the process unfolds.
1315 K Street, Modesto, CA 95354
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