National All-Jersey has withdrawn their request for a USDA-AMS Dairy Program FMMO Hearing to consider implementation of Multiple Component Pricing for the Southeast (FMMO 7) and Appalachian (FMMO 5) Milk Marketing Orders.
The withdrawal of this proposal culminates a process of several years of discussion and evaluations by producer groups and several dairy cooperatives on how Multiple Component Pricing in the Southeast might affect producer pay checks.
Following is the timeline of this spring’s events:
April 2, 2018: National All-Jersey submitted their 80-page proposal requesting a hearing.
May 2, 2018: USDA-AMS then posted an Action Plan.
May 16, 2018: An information session was held in Knoxville, in Knoxville, TN, which was coordinated by Tennessee and Kentucky Farm Bureaus. The session was recorded in two parts, and each are available for viewing:
- Part 1: A 1 hr – 39 minute video recorded by TN Farm Bureau (Dana Coale, explaining FMMO process)
- Part 2: A 1 hr. 14 minute video recorded by TN Farm Bureau (FMMO Administrators and officials explaining the specifics of the process leading to acceptance or denial of an MCP hearing)
June 1, 2018: Two additional proposals were submitted to USDA-AMS:
- A 7-page request from Michael Brown, Director, Dairy Supply Chain for Kroger, stated: “We ask USDA to also include the a proposal to lower the minimum amount of Class I Sales required a distributing plant to achieve pooling status from 50% to 25%. “
- The Tennessee Dairy Producers Association, with Stan Butt as Executive Director, submitted a 16-page proposal in opposition to Multiple Component Pricing, with this opening statement: “Opposition to the proposal submitted by NAJ to changing the current pricing structure in FMMOs 5&7 is based on the proposition that the majority of producers in both orders will be negatively affected.”
June 11, 2018: A letter-to-the-editor written by John Harrison, Sweetwater Valley Farm in opposition to Multiple Component Pricing was posted by Progressive Dairyman.
June 28, 2018: The letter withdrawing the Hearing request, written by Erick Metzger, General Manager of National All-Jersey, posted at USDA-AMS – Dairy Program, contains these statements:
“Marketing conditions in the Appalachian and Southeast Federal Order Marketing Areas are in a state of flux, aggravated by challenging national dairy product markets.The proponents therefore withdraw their proposal for a multiple component pricing hearing in Orders 5 and 7 at this time.”
The letter closes with:
“We anticipate resubmitting the proposal when the current marketing challenges have stabilized and resources necessary to advance the proposal again become available.
Here is the letter in its entirety:
All USDA-FMMO processes are directed and defined by a set of rules, including procedural rules. It is up to farmers themselves – those most affected by FMMO rules and regulations – to learn the process, and to participate in the process.This spring, and the preceding years and months of information seeking, are an example of civil discourse which can occur.