12 May 2023

In this Issue:

  • American Farm Bureau Announces Support for FMMO Reform
  • Reminder: UGA Silage Field Day for Producers
  • UGA Wins $1 Million Grant for Next Generation Ag Project
  • AFBF, Senators Come Out Against FDA Milk Labeling Proposal
  • Indiana Holstein Sets New Lifetime Milk Record
  • GMP and GCA Host South Georgia Beef & Dairy Tour
  • Agricultural Commodity Committee for Milk Seeking Nominations
  • Reminder: The Dairy Alliance Taking Applications for Community Engagers Initiative
  • Students Take a Break From Finals By Cuddling Calves

AFBF Urges USDA to Accept Petition for FMMO Hearing

The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to accept the petition of the National Milk Producers Federation for a long-overdue comprehensive Federal Milk Marketing Order hearing to ensure that consumers have access to fresh milk and dairy products while protecting dairy farmers from potentially harmful market conditions.

In a letter sent to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, which oversees the FMMO program, AFBF President Zippy Duvall not only calls on USDA to hold a hearing on FMMO reform, but also asks the department to go further than a recent NMPF petition by asking for mandatory, audited surveys of dairy processors to be used when determining the make allowances factored into dairy pricing. The letter points out USDA’s authority to conduct a mandatory audit under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act.

This change and the need for additional reforms were part of a farmer consensus formed at the AFBF-hosted FMMO Forum held in Kansas City, Missouri, last October.

“We appreciate Secretary Vilsack’s call for industry to align around recommendations, and in direct response we gathered hundreds of dairy farmers from every corner of the country who were joined by cooperative leaders, processors, USDA and other active industry participants to discuss milk pricing issues productively and respectfully,” Duvall wrote in the letter. “Discussions spanned a wide array of topics including updating Class pricing formulas, reducing incentives to de-pool, adding transparency to payment methods, strengthening the farmer’s voice within referendums, and the general need to make the FMMO system operate effectively under current market conditions.”

The results of the FMMO Forum were used in the separate policy development processes of both NMPF and AFBF. In their petition, NMPF outlined four policy recommendations outside of make allowance updates, all of which are supported in principle by AFBF’s member-driven policy. The changes include the discontinuation of the use of barrel cheese in the protein component price formula, returning to the “higher-of” Class I mover, updating the milk component factors for protein, other solids, and nonfat solids in the Class III and Class IV skim milk price formulas and updating the Class I differential pricing surface throughout the United States.

A full hearing on FMMO reform would allow all parties with an interest in dairy pricing to come to the table and share ideas.

“Dairy farmers continue to face market challenges as part of the high-cost, high-risk times we live in,” Duvall wrote. “Trust is critical to maintaining an efficient and resilient federal order system that promotes orderly marketing of milk to consumers across the country. A comprehensive Class price hearing…could balance the needs of both the farmers who produce the milk and the processors who turn it into the dairy products we know and love.”

NMPF filed their petition on May 1. To read that petition, click here. To read the full AFBF letter, click here.

NMPF Proposal Highlights

  • Return to "higher of" Class I mover
  • USDA AMS data shows the current "average-of" mover underperformed the "higher-of" formula over the past 4 years by over $900 million.
  • In September of last year, GMP's Board of Directors voted to support returning to the "higher-of" formula.
  • Update skim milk component factors for protein, nonfat solids, and other solids
  • NMPF Projected Impact: $0.55/cwt increase in Class I price
  • Update make allowances for butterfat, nonfat solids, protein, and other solids
  • NMPF Projected Impact: $0.50/cwt decrease in Class I Price
  • Remove barrel cheddar from Class III pricing formula
  • NMPF Projected Impact: $0.20/cwt increase in Class I price
  • Update Class I Differentials
  • Differential Increase of $2.15 in Atlanta, $1.9 in Orlando, $1.80 in Athens, TN, and $2.00 in Spartanburg
  • *NMPF notes in its submission to USDA that most milk price increases or decreases would be seen in the short term and that market forces would eventually level out any changes in milk price.


Field Days Upcoming

June 15 - UGA Tifton Conference Center: UGA and UF Extension are partnering to host a Corn Silage and Stored Forage Field Day. Register HERE.


UGA Wins $1 Million Grant for NextGen Agriculture Project

The University of Georgia has been awarded $1 million from the National Science Foundation’s Regional Innovation Engines program for the Next Generation Agriculture project, a broad collaboration intended to help Georgia farmers move toward “Ag 4.0”—the fourth agricultural revolution—in their practices.

Next Generation Agriculture, or NextGA, will leverage the strengths of more than 30 public and private organizations to work with farmers in a 20-county region of south Georgia to build an infrastructure for integrative agricultural innovation “in place.” Some 650,000 residents call the area home, and NextGA is intended to empower them with the support and expertise needed to build farming systems that are environmentally, economically, socially and intergenerationally sustainable.

Read the full press release from UGA HERE.


AFBF, U.S. Senators Come Out Against FDA Milk Labeling Proposal

American Farm Bureau Federation submitted comments to FDA's plant-based alternative milk labeling proposal late last month. In a letter to FDA Administrator, Robert Califf, AFBF stated "the implied permittance of the term 'milk' on any non-lacteal secretion-based products strongly contradicts the mission defined by FDA and the conclusion of FDA's own information-gathering efforts." In its 6-page letter to the agenct, AFBF highlights how FDA's proposed guidelines do not conform with existing agency standards and provides contradictory messages to U.S. consumers.

Additionally, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jim Risch (R-ID) led a bipartisan coalition of U.S. Senators to call on FDA to "require accurate labling and define the nutritional differences between plant-based imitation products and dairy products to protect consumers." Also joining in this effort were Mike Crapo (R-ID), Angus King (I-ME), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Peter Welch (D-VT), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Fetterman (D-PA), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

FDA recently extended the comment period until July 31. In addition to policy makers and farm groups submitting their comments to the Federal Register, it is also important that farmers and milk supporters share their feedback with FDA as well. Click the comment form link below to tell FDA to support real milk.

FDA Milk Labeling Comment Form

AFBF Letter to FDA

Senate Letter to FDA


This Week's E-News Is Brought To You By....

Kreeger and Associates, LLC

If you or your company would like to advertise in the GMP E-News, email bryce@gamilk.org for more info.


Indiana Holstein Sets Lifetime Production Record


A new U.S. Registered Holstein cow recently broke the record for most lifetime milk. Nor-Bert Colby Connie achieved this incredible feat with her lifetime milk production record of 486,300 pounds through her latest completed lactation. Connie has calved again and is continuing to add to the record total.

Connie has equally impressive numbers for components, with a lifetime record of 27,062 pounds of fat and 17,737 pounds of protein through her last completed lactation. These tremendous fat and protein totals are currently the highest lifetime totals for fat and protein in the Holstein Association USA database.

This new record comes in quick succession to the one set by Chrome-View Charles 3044, who achieved the record earlier this year with a total of 478,200 pounds of lifetime milk, 14,447 pounds of fat, and 12,576 pounds of protein. Having two cows break the lifetime milk production record within a matter of a few months is a testament to all that’s possible with U.S. Registered Holstein cows.

Read the full article at DairyBusiness.com


GMP & GCA Host South Georgia Beef & Dairy Tour

Earlier this week, Georgia Milk Producers and Georgia Cattlemen's Association hosted a joint beef and dairy tour for Commissioner Tyler Harper, UGA College of Ag Dean Nick Place, UGA CAES administration members, GA House and Senate Ag Chairman Robert Dickey and Russ Goodman, and representatives from GA's congressional delegation.

The first day of the tour focused on dairy production with stops at Highbrighton Dairy and Tramilda Holsteins in Montezuma, Leatherbrook Holsteins in Americus, and Schaapman Holsteins in Abbeville. Attendees had the opportunity to tour several operations and talk to dairy farmers about the challenges and benefits of dairy farming.

The second day of the tour featured beef cattle production with stops at Akins Cattle in Nashville, McKinnon Cattle Co. in Douglas, and visits to UGA research facilities in Tifton and Alapaha. The beef tour also included a stop at Circle F Meats processing facility in Baxley, GA.

Georgia's beef and dairy industry combine to generate $961 million in farm gate value according to UGA's Ag Snapshot.


Agricultural Commodity Commission for Milk Seeking Nominations

The Georgia ACCM is seeking nominations to its board. Board members serve 3-year terms if appointed by the Ex-Officio Commodity Commission. ACCM how the $0.10 checkoff for local/state promotion is administered in Georgia.

Nomination forms can be emailed to Andy Harrison at andy.harrison@agr.georgia.gov by May 31.


The Dairy Alliance Announces Community Engagers Initiative

The Dairy Alliance is looking for farmers and industry affiliates to serve as Community Engagers across the Southeast. If you live in the 8-state Dairy Alliance region, enjoy sharing your unique farm experiences and professional expertise, and have the desire to connect with consumers in your community, then this is your opportunity.

Deadline to apply is May 15!

Click here to apply online


Final Exams Are Stressful, So Pet A Cow Instead

UGA's Dairy Science Club hosted its second-annual Calf Cuddling Day on Myers Quad during final exams. Over 1,000 students stopped by the quad to pet and take selfies with calves from UGA's teaching dairy. The event allows Dairy Science Club members an opportunity to talk to other students and visitors about UGA's dairy science program and Georgia's dairy industry.

Read the Red & Black's full write-up on the event HERE.

Until Next Time,

Bryce Trotter

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