The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a final decision on the California Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) which was published in the Federal Register on March 30. The order will first through a referendum process that will begin April 2 and run through May 5.
“Now it’s in the hands of California producers to decide whether they want to officially move forward with it or not,” said Director of Economic Analysis for Western United Dairymen (WUD) Annie AcMoody.
The USDA will be distributing ballot materials to the state’s dairy producers. “In order to pass, to become effective, it needs to be approved by two-thirds of the voting producers, or by producers of two-thirds of the milk represented in the voting process,” said AcMoody. “So just a little bit over a month that producers have to read all this material, decide how that’s going to impact them and if that’s a route they want to go with.”
The USDA press release stated that “the proposed California FMMO adopts the uniform order provisions contained in the 10 current FMMOs in the national system. These uniform provisions include, but are not limited to, dairy product classification, end-product price formulas, and the producer-handler definition. The proposed order would recognize the unique market structure of the California dairy industry through tailored, performance-based standards to determine eligibility for pool participation.”
To address some of the questions or concerns producers may have about the California Federal Milk Marketing Order, WUD is offering a series of meetings throughout California. On Monday, April 16 a meeting will be held at the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, Tuesday, the April 17 meeting will be taking place at the Stanislaus County Harvest Hall, and there will also be a meeting on Wednesday, April 18 at the Tulare Agri-Center.