California milk jug bottle cap.
February 10, 2018

Dairy Groups Urge USDA to Move Forward on California Federal Order

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The California Dairy Campaign (CDC), the Milk Producers Council (MPC) and Western United Dairymen (WUD) are all urging USDA to releas its final rule on the California Federal Milk Marketing Order.

The process was delayed last Tuesday because of an unrelated case before the Supreme Court which calls into question whether Administrative Law Judges, if they’re not appointed by the President, can legally preside over Federal hearings.

The three California dairy groups sent a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue Friday urging him to release the final rule that would create a California Federal Order if it were approved by a majority of California dairy farmers. In their letter, the groups state:  “Given the number of dairy operations that have closed in California and the chronic decline in milk production here, the more than three year rulemaking process for a FMMO in California should not be delayed…. Since USDA released its draft recommendation in February 2017, producers lost an average of $0.50 per hundredweight of milk produced.”

They further state: “While we can recognize USDA’s inclination to wait for the Supreme Court decision in the Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, before publishing a final decision on a California FMMO, it is not something we can support…. We urge USDA to release the final decision so that California dairy producers who are suffering under the uncertainty the delay in this process is creating have the opportunity to consider a pricing system that will be in alignment with rest of the major milk producing regions in the country.”