NMPF Boards Calls for Milk Pricing Fairness, Leads on H5N1 Response

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Source: National Milk Producers Federation

National Milk Producers Federation leadership expressed confidence that farmers would soon see a fairer federal system for milk pricing and highlighted dairy farmers’ robust response to the challenge of H5N1 influenza in dairy cattle at the organization’s Board of Directors meeting, which concluded today.  

“Even with all the stresses on the farm, there’s still not a better industry,” said Randy Mooney, a dairy farmer from Rogersville, MO, and a member of the Dairy Farmers of America cooperative, in remarks at the meeting. “I’m proud of where we’re at, producing high quality, nutritious food for the consumer. It’s amazing how dairy farmers do it.” 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to release its plan for Federal Milk Marketing Order modernization at the beginning of July. NMPF has led the push for updated rules that reflect the current industry, a three-year effort that culminated in a 49-day FMMO hearing late last year.  

Board members spent two days reviewing recent policy developments, including the progress of the 2024 Farm Bill, and receiving up-to-date information on H5N1, which has led to significant federal and farmer investments in biosecurity and testing. NMPF Chief Science Officer Dr. Jamie Jonker led discussion on an issue that is critical to dairy’s future.  

The meeting was held with NMPF’s annual Young Cooperators fly-in, in which young dairy farmers meet with lawmakers to advocate for the industry. Dairy farmers urged passage of a Farm Bill, expanded market access for U.S. dairy products and federal action toward integrity in milk labeling, restricting the use of dairy terms to animal products in line with Food and Drug Administration standards.  

The Board also examined potential improvements to the NMPF-led Cooperatives Working Together program, the 21-year-old farmer self-help initiative that is up for renewal after 2024. A member task force has been weighing a range of options to expand the use of CWT’s export assistance program. The NMPF Board approved a series of five directional goals for CWT as it considers the program’s parameters in 2025 and beyond. 

At the meeting, the board also elected three new members: Dave Peterson of Minnesota, representing Associated Milk Producers, Inc.; Alex Peterson of Missouri, representing Dairy Farmers of America; and Mike Schoneveld of Washington, representing Darigold.