Farm Bureau Urges USDA To Use Emergency Authority To Ensure Fair Pricing For Dairy Farmers


Source: American Farm Bureau Federation news release

The American Farm Bureau Federation sent a letter today to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging the agency to issue a final decision on an emergency basis to speed the implementation of the “higher-of” Class I mover formula to buffer dairy farmers from further losses during the forthcoming Federal Milk Marketing Order rulemaking process.

“The comprehensive process of amending federal orders, though important, means dairy farmers remain stuck with current pricing regulations until USDA publishes a final rule,” Sam Kieffer, AFBF vice president of public policy, said in the letter, which also notes that FMMO reform is in step five of a 12-step process. “The current Class I mover was a well-intentioned policy misstep that has reduced dairy farmers’ checks, with little relief in sight. Emergency implementation of the ‘higher-of’ Class I mover formula will help buffer against persistent losses associated with mistaken and outdated policies that have left dairy farmers struggling to make ends meet.”

AFBF economist Danny Munch read the letter into the official record as the last witness of the hearing process. AFBF has participated in the full 49 days of the hearing, which began on Aug. 23, 2023.

Prior to the convening of the hearing, AFBF has long been an advocate of Federal Milk Marketing Order reform, including hosting a Federal Milk Marketing Order Forum in October 2022, where a return to the “higher-of” Class I mover was the number one FMMO reform priority of the gathered farmers. AFBF economists and Farm Bureau members testified numerous times throughout the hearing.

To read the full letter click Here.

To see AFBF’s other testimony and exhibits, visit the hearing website Here.