Tag Archives: Milk

The National Milk Producers Federation announced a settlement agreement that would end a class-action lawsuit concerning the Herd Retirement Program that ended back in 2010.

The program was administered through the federation’s Cooperatives Working Together initiative. The settlement will safeguard ongoing efforts to aid U.S. dairy producers, lift a cloud over the industry that’s lasted years, and it allows NMPF member cooperatives and the current CWT program to move forward with more certainty.

The plaintiffs consisted of larger retailers and companies who directly buy butter and cheese from CWT member cooperatives. The settlement amount is $220 million in exchange for a release of all claims. Neither the NMPF nor any of its member cooperatives admit any wrongdoing as a result of the settlement. “There is no way to sugarcoat a settlement of this size, especially given that the Herd Retirement Program was a well-publicized effort designed to serve dairy producers in difficult times,” says Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the NMPF. “It was praised by two Secretaries of Agriculture and a number of the leading members of Congress.”

The plaintiffs sought damages relating to the Herd Retirement Program, which offered dairy farmers financial incentives to market their milking herds for beef. It operated between 2003 and 2010.

Markets closed early on Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.   This year’s crop outcome-what will be harvested is about there-this could move the markets higher as reality sets in that all the crop won’t be out before 2020.  How will this change the basis?  Cash will win in the end.  South American production-any issues heading into December.  December 15th deadline looming with China-will they just continue to buy what they need?  Corn exports saw some improvements this past week.   Getting a final spike trade in the dairy industry.  Still seeing some Chinese purchases for milk powder.  Weeks snowstorms and upcoming weekend weather be of concern to the feeder cattle market?

ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation thanked Senator Tammy Baldwin for her advocacy for public health and labeling transparency in her questions for Dr. Stephen Hahn during today’s hearing on his nomination to be commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


“As the nation’s top health official, Dr. Hahn would face many challenging issues, labeling integrity high among them. It’s heartening to hear the nominee pledge that an FDA under his leadership will immediately examine this crucial unfinished business,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF.  “Given his stated commitment to science- and data-based decision-making and his concern for public nutrition, we expect FDA will soon begin enforcing its own standards – which clearly reserve dairy terms for real dairy products, not plant-based imposters who mislead consumers by mislabeling nutritionally inferior products. We thank Senator Baldwin for pressing for urgent action today as part of her ongoing efforts to resolve this health and nutrition issue.”


In response to a question from Sen. Baldwin asking him whether and when the FDA will begin enforcing its own labeling standards, Dr. Hahn voiced his support for “clear, transparent, and understandable labeling for the American people.


“The American people need this so that they can make the appropriate decisions for their health and for their nutrition. I very much will look into this issue,” Dr. Hahn said, later adding he would “look at this as soon as I am confirmed.” Video of Dr. Hahn’s exchange with Sen. Baldwin is here.


The National Milk Producers Federation, which has been speaking out on plant-based imitators for four decades, has been encouraged by recent, long overdue FDA attention to the issue. For more background on NMPF’s position and statements of support from public-health organizations, click here. NMPF also in February released a “road map,” found here, for how the agency can adapt existing standards to reflect the current marketplace and protect labeling integrity.


Hip hip, hooray! It’s the American Farm Bureau’s 100th birthday!

Join Alex and Rebel on this week’s edition of Friday Five, as they discuss trade with China, a major hit to the dairy industry, and more. 



5- Farm Bureau turns 100

4- The Scoop on Ben & Jerry’s 

3- China Hog Herd: Five Year to Bounce Back 

2- China Lifts Five-Year Ban on U.S. Poultry

1- Largest Milk Producer Files Bankruptcy 



ARLINGTON, VA – Dairy is a quirky commodity. It’s a highly perishable product “harvested” every day. It’s in all 50 states. And more than for most other commodities, dairy farmers are organized into cooperatives, putting the cooperative principle of working together at the heart of the industry.


Cooperatives are everywhere in the U.S., serving members in everything from child care and credit unions to health insurance and rural broadband. Nearly one in three Americans are co-op members. (And happy Co-op Month to all of them!) Thanks to the Capper-Volstead Act of 1922, farmers can form cooperatives to collectively own and manage resources, cut costs and gain a measure of market power traditionally dominated by banks and agribusiness.


Most U.S. farmers use cooperatives at some level – to pool supplies and capital, finance exports, improve their bargaining position with processors, or even become processors themselves. Over time, cooperatives became the dairy industry standard, as farmers far from cities needed ways to sell and ship highly perishable products without relying on middlemen who could use time and distance to push prices down. Cooperatives have empowered dairy farmers and enabled them to build multimillion-dollar processing plants in local communities, share financial resources, and coordinate their own transportation. It’s simply the best way, and sometimes the only way, for a dairy farmer to get products to market and earn a decent return from doing so. And while dairy co-ops don’t have the ability to set market prices – supply and demand still rules – they do help balance the market power equation between individual farmers and corporate buyers.


Today, farmer-owned cooperatives dominate dairy. According to a twice-a-decade USDA survey, cooperatives handled 85 percent of U.S. milk in 2017, a number that’s held steady for 25 years.


Thanks to cooperatives, dairy farmers have kept a bigger share of the price of their product – about twice the agricultural norm. And they’ve helped farmers benefit from marketplace shifts in ways they wouldn’t be able to if they only were solo operators selling their milk to others; for example, as dairy demand has reached a 56-year high, the number of cooperative-owned processing plants has risen by 8 percent since 2012. Another example: As butter prices have reached records, the share of butter production managed by cooperatives has risen to 86 percent, compared to 75 percent in 2012. Cooperatives have also helped dairy be a livestock-sector leader in sustainability and animal welfare, adapting generations of self-help spirit to 21st-century concerns.


Dairy cooperatives today include multi-billion-dollar businesses and local treasuresexport powerhouses and instantly recognizable brandsinnovative consumer products and food-cult followings. They’re part of regional fabrics, any they boast histories that stretch more than a century. Like agriculture itself, they’ve evolved. The number of cooperatives has declined along with the number of dairy farmers, even as their farm milk volumes have skyrocketed. Still, cooperatives have remained the heart and soul of the dairy industry — and their farmer-ownership belies the false narrative, from some quarters, of a faceless “Big Dairy.”


Cooperatives owned by U.S. farmers serve the world. We at the National Milk Producers Federation are proud to represent dairy farmers and the cooperatives they own, that together produce more than two-thirds of all U.S. milk. Next week, we’ll celebrate them at our annual meeting. For now, we’d like to thank them for all they do. You should thank them too.

Agri-Mark, Inc.

Associated Milk Producers Inc.

Bongards’ Creameries

California Dairies, Inc.

Cooperative Milk Producers Association

Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.

Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative

First District Association

Foremost Farms USA

Land O’Lakes, Inc.

Lone Star Milk Producers

Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Assoc.

Michigan Milk Producers Association

Mid-West Dairymen’s Company

Mount Joy Farmers Cooperative Association

Northwest Dairy Association

Oneida-Madison Milk Producers Cooperative Association

Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.

Premier Milk Inc.

Scioto Cooperative Milk Producers’ Association

Select Milk Producers, Inc.

Southeast Milk, Inc.

Tillamook County Creamery Association

United Dairymen of Arizona

Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc.