CDC wants California to join FMMO

More than 50 California Dairy Campaign (CDC) members, meeting in Oakdale, Calif., called on Congress to pass legislation  enabling California to join the federal milk marketing order (FMMO) system. CDC members also joined efforts to petition USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to raise producers prices to account for record high feed costs, and urged U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson to waive the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) ethanol mandate.

“Record high feed costs are jeopardizing dairy operations around the state,” explained CDC president Joe Augusto. “Dairy producers are not able to pass on these higher costs so it is critical that Congress and the Obama Administration take immediate action to sustain dairy operations in our state and across the nation.”


“Due to the fact that our state dairy pricing system does not pay a fair value to producers for milk, over the last 12 months, California dairy producers have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time when every penny is critical given sky high feed costs,” explained CDC executive director Lynne McBride. “Prices paid to dairy producers in California are the lowest of any regulated state in the nation and joining the FMMO would increase producer prices significantly.”


With dairy producer discontent growing over recent California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) decisions, Western United Dairymen is hosting a program to educate California producers about the federal milk marketing order system, Sept. 20, 10 a.m., at the Tulare Ag Center, Tulare, Calif. The meeting will feature Bill Wise, market administrator of the Arizona and Pacific Northwest orders, providing an overview of federal orders and highlight the differences with the California system.


Meanwhile, there's been no additional details released on creation of a California Dairy Future Task Force, promised by CDFA secretary Karen Ross in late July. And, some dairy producers are organizing a protest, Sept. 13, 11 a.m., at the State Capitol in Sacramento.