The American Dairy Coalition (ADC) invites dairy farmers and their state and national organization leaders to participate in the upcoming webinar: “Future of Federal Milk Pricing Forum” February 15 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. EST by webinar.
The forum will begin the process of building ‘farmer consensus’ around updated milk pricing strategies that are more acceptable at the farm level.
Cooperatives and processors are having these same conversations, but ADC’s first forum is by farmers for farmers and is strictly focused on hearing directly from farmers, presidents of state and national dairy farmer organizations and/or their leadership.
“As the industry attempts to update the federal milk pricing system, ADC wants to bring farmers together for early input. This is an important initial step in beginning a consensus-building process while ensuring the voice of actual dairy farmers is heard,” says ADC CEO Laurie Fischer. “When you register for the forum, please reserve a spot if you would like to speak and provide input on solutions to all webinar attendees.”
Scan this QR code with a smart phone to fill out the registration form for the Future of Federal Milk Pricing Forum by webinar.
The 90-minute webinar will be moderated by Dave Natzke. As an editor with Progressive Dairy, Natzke’s primary editorial focus includes dairy policy, markets, pricing and risk management with emphasis on their impacts on dairy producer milk checks and businesses.
Three panelists will offer introductory comments before the ‘floor’ is opened to those registering for 3-minute time slots:
- Calvin Covington, a retired co-op CEO, will talk about what FMMOs do and don’t do as well as what they can and cannot do. He has experienced the FMMO hearing process in the past.
- Frank Doll, a dairy producer and American Farm Bureau Dairy Policy Committee member will review the recommendations that recently came out of the AFBF dairy working group.
- Mike McCully, a dairy industry consultant, will provide a perspective on how changes to the Class I fluid milk pricing formula impact farm mailbox milk prices.
In November, a bipartisan U.S. Senate bill was introduced that, if passed, would require USDA to hold national FMMO hearings. Recently, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack told producers in Wisconsin that FMMO hearings will not be held until there is “consensus within the dairy industry.” At the same time, 2023 Farm Bill discussions, where milk pricing changes may be considered, are getting underway.
“The FMMO system is complex with regional, national and global factors. We have seen the impact of a pricing change in the Class I formula that was made legislatively in the last Farm Bill without a vetted hearing process or farmer input. We must never let this happen again,” Fischer notes. “Our webinar offers dairy farmers and their state and national organizations the opportunity to have a voice and to provide leadership in how milk is priced in the future.”
Some questions to consider for input include:
- What are your top three federal milk pricing concerns that you feel need immediate attention and change?
- Looking outside your paradigm and using a 'blank page' perspective, what role would you say the government should play in the following:
- The pricing of milk
- Oversight of timely payment?
- Accurate weights and measures?
- Benchmarking indexes?
- Price Discovery?
- Since only Class I regulated plants are legally mandated to pay the FMMO minimums, should the FMMO system be limited to just Class I?
- What pricing tools are helpful to farmers to manage risks?
These are just some thought-starters, and Fischer explains that the main goal of this forum is to hear dairy farmer perspectives.
To fill out the registration form to listen and/or to give input scan the QR code with a cell phone or go to this link: https://americandairycoalition.wufoo.com/forms/qny3t5f02q0idd/
Those registering will receive the webinar link and access information to participate on Feb. 15, and those requesting a time to speak will receive an additional follow-up email from the ADC staff.