From staff reports
The American Farm Bureau Federation is calling on all dairy industry stakeholders to attend a Federal Milk Marketing Order Forum the organization will hold Oct. 14-16 at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown.
After hearing a litany of complaints about Federal Milk Marketing Order shortfalls, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last December called on dairy industry stakeholders to “get in a room” and collaborate to develop consensus and form a plan for tackling dairy pricing challenges.
The Federal Milk Marketing Order Forum will include panels on various aspects of Federal Milk Marketing Orders followed by roundtable discussions structured to spur conversation among all parts of the dairy sector, but with a clear focus on farmers.
The panel sessions will cover the origins and purposes of Federal Milk Marketing Orders, Class I, Class III and Class IV pricing issues and simplifying FMMOs.
“Meaningful changes to the FMMO system are long overdue,” Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said in a news release. “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how volatile milk prices and outdated milk pricing and pooling provisions were harming dairy farmers, it was clear the FMMO system needs modernizing to address consolidation in the processing business, shifting consumer preferences and fluctuating trade demands.”
Duvall added that Farm Bureau members “take very seriously Sec. Vilsack’s call to ‘do the hard job of listening to one another’ on Federal Milk Marketing Order reforms and intend to provide a space to do just that. We hope dairy farmers and other leaders will join us in Kansas City this fall for a productive industry-wide discussion on dairy pricing and much-needed changes to the FMMO system.”
Registration is open through Sept. 22 on the Federal Milk Marketing Order Forum website. From the website participants also can view the agenda and secure lodging.