The American Farm Bureau Federation unified the dairy industry over the weekend to discuss the Federal Milk Marketing Order. Micheal Clements shares what the farmers, processors and others associated with the dairy business had to say.
Clements: Farm Bureau hosted a Federal Milk Marketing Order Forum in Kansas City, Missouri, over the weekend. AFBF economist Danny Munch says the discussion focused on several topics.
Munch: The turnout was great. We had over 180 farms, cooperatives, processors and other industry adjacent organizations represented. We had four different panel sessions with a variety of different speakers about different dairy issues including Class I pricing issues, class III and IV pricing issues, and then general ways to simplify the federal order system. All of our members were very engaged and there was just really this sign of goodwill and cordialness between the attendees.
Clements: The three-day event was in response to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack calling on the dairy industry to come together.
Munch: So, in the past the dairy industry has often been looked at as factions, farmers often separate from their coops or separate from processors. So, to bring them together under one roof and discuss these issues was the intention. I think at the end of the conference, it really was a strong resounding yes result that that happened. Everyone was able to listen to each other and just a strong feeling of unity across the industry, after those discussions.
Clements: Following the event, AFBF and the National Milk Producers Federation concluded with a unified goal.
Munch: We were able to put together a statement with the National Milk Producers Federation as well as a number of other dairy organizations that basically committed to modernization of the federal orders. We all support the existence of federal orders in supporting the dairy industry, and we're just generally encouraged by all the healthy discussion.
Clements: Learn more at fb.org. Micheal Clements, Washington.