Home   News

As Hearing Moves Forward, Dairy’s Path is Becoming Clearer

USDA’s Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) hearing is well underway, and thus far its progress is much as expected. With NMPF’s proposed modernization plan serving as its bedrock, the topics under discussion very much reflect the areas we identified as key areas of improvement to FMMOs. At the same time, cross-examination and counter-proposals from other parties have been thorough, and at times, off-base.

Unsurprisingly, those questions and perspectives reflect the vested interests of the questioners, with changes often presented as zero-sum games in which the questioner’s ideas and opinions just-so-happen to benefit its bottom line. Our position at NMPF is a little different. We recognize that any proposal USDA puts up to a producer vote will need to meet a balance of interests, as admittedly, some regions, sizes or business models may benefit more than others depending on the issue. That’s a simple fact of reality in the world of policy progress. In that sense, we’re not always arguing specifically for the benefit of one party – we’re defending the consensus we’ve crafted that provides the greatest benefit to the industry as a whole, dairy farmers, processors, and consumers alike, because that’s the only approach that will bring the lasting improvements for the entire dairy industry.

This is why we at NMPF can’t help but smile a bit when we hear someone bring up an idea that we considered – and discarded – as far back as two years ago, when we began holding more than 200 meetings among farmers, cooperative analysts and industry-leading economists that generated our comprehensive improvement plan. We’ve literally been there and done that. But interested parties must have their say, and differing proposals can be brought before USDA – and in fact, they should be, so as to serve the important interests of transparency and continued consensus.

This is where all those meetings, and the thorough preparation our cooperative-led team has made for this generational opportunity for improvement, reaps dividends. We’ve faced tough questions. We’ve developed industry-leading analysis. We’ve even “war-roomed” the hearing process itself, meeting to discuss anticipated critiques of our proposal and preparing authoritative responses. Our approach is exhaustive, but never exhausting, because we’ve always kept our eyes focused on the ultimate goal of a modernized, fairer, more robust system of milk pricing for dairy farmers. And with each step toward that goal, we feel we’re only gaining more momentum – one that in the end will benefit everyone, even those who, at this moment, are offering alternatives aimed at simply boosting their narrower self-interests.

This occasion is incredibly important, and we’re rising to it. We look forward to continued progress.

Click here to see more...

Trending Video

Revolutionizing Pork Production: Gene Editing and Antimicrobial Stewardship with Banks Baker of PIC

Video: Revolutionizing Pork Production: Gene Editing and Antimicrobial Stewardship with Banks Baker of PIC

In this episode, we explore the transformative advancements in pork production with Banks Baker of PIC. Consumer expectations for high animal care standards, antimicrobial stewardship, and sustainable practices are reshaping the food industry. Innovative solutions and technologies are emerging to meet these demands, fostering sustainable food production.

Gene editing plays a pivotal role in enhancing animal health and aligns with antibiotic stewardship goals in pork production. Baker discusses the potential impact of gene editing on preventing diseases like PRRS and how it parallels successful applications in human healthcare. Challenges and considerations in applying this technology to animal agriculture, particularly in protecting pigs from diseases, are also explored.

PIC's groundbreaking development of a PRRS-resistant pig through gene editing is highlighted, offering broader implications for pig herd health and the significant reduction of antibiotic use. Navigating global regulatory systems presents challenges and opportunities for PIC, and Baker sheds light on the company's approach to gaining approvals worldwide.

Join us in this episode as we delve into the future of pork production, where cutting-edge technologies and sustainable practices are reshaping the industry landscape.