Testimony is underway in a USDA hearing on proposals to include California in a federal milk marketing order. Sabrina Hill was at the opening day of testimony, Tuesday, and has this report.
To listen to the live audio feed of the hearings, click here.
The USDA is holding the hearings to get information from all parties on whether or not California should be included in a federal milk marketing order. USDA received four proposals from interested parties. The proposals use the same dairy product classification system already used by other states throughout the federal milk marketing order system. Additional features would recognize California quota premium and fluid milk fortification values.
The proposals would not modify any existing federal milk marketing orders, but a preliminary economic impact analysis showed that adding California into the federal system could have an impact on other states. That’s because California’s dairy production is so high. California is the top producing dairy state in the nation. Testimony started with a financial analysis of California dairy by USDA ag economist Amanda Steeneck. Her testimony included how the federal order would be affected if California joined.
Listen to the report above for a portion of her testimony, and comments from Joe Mello with the California Dairy Campaign.
The hearing is expected to last several weeks.