Subcommittee Reviews Federal Milk Marketing Order Rulemaking Procedures

Apr 24, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Leonard Boswell, Chairman of the House Agriculture CommitteeÆs Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry, held a hearing to review the Federal Milk Marketing Order rulemaking procedures.

The Federal Milk Marketing Orders were established in the 1930's to make sure that milk, which is a highly perishable product, reached consumers at a fair price and in a time sensitive fashion. Periodically, the Agriculture Committee reviews the order rulemaking procedures to make sure they are keeping up with technology, new product development and dairy production.

"After hearing much of the testimony, there is consensus throughout the dairy industry that the rulemaking procedures take too long. We must ensure that the process is quick and efficient, and represents what the dairy market in 2007 looks like.  As we approach the 2007 Farm Bill, we will be looking at different proposals to change the Federal Milk Marketing Order system, perhaps creating a commission to look at ways to streamline the system," Subcommittee Chairman Boswell said.

"The industry faces some fairly cumbersome hurdles, both administrative and legislative, that only serve to hamper efforts to improve the orders for all participants.  It is clear that the government needs to be a facilitator, and not an impediment, to our nation's dairy farmers and today's hearing reemphasized that there is a consensus among the industry that more needs to be done.  Since dairy is the only Farm Bill program that this subcommittee has jurisdiction over, I look forward to working with them as we move forward in this process," said Subcommittee Ranking Member Robin Hayes.

Witness testimony is available on the Committee website. A full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website in 4-6 weeks.

Witness List

Administrator Lloyd Day, Agricultural Marketing Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Kelly Krug, Director of Marketing Services, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento, California

Mr. Chris Kraft, Member/Owner, Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., Fort Morgan, Colorado

Mr. Dennis Donohue, General Manager, Manitowoc Milk Producers, Alexandria, Virginia

Mr. Billy French, Dairy Farmer, on behalf of Virginia State DairymenÆs Association, Maurertown, Virginia

Mr. Eric Ooms, Diary Farmer, Old Chatham, New York

Mr. Ed Gallagher, Federal Order Analyst, Dairylea Cooperative Inc., Syracuse, New York

Mr. Mike Reidy, Senior Vice President, Procurement, Logistics & Business Development, Leprino Foods Company, Denver Colorado

Mr. Warren Erickson, Executive Vice President and COO, Anderson Erickson Dairy Company, Des Moines, Iowa

Mr. Douglas J. Wells, Co-President, WellÆs Dairy Inc., Le Mars, Iowa

Mr. William Ahlem, Co-Founder and Vice Chairman, Hilmar, California

Mr. John Hitchell, General Manager, Raw Milk Procurement & Regulations, The Kroger Co., Cincinnati, Ohio