AFBF dairy committee member comments on FMMO recommendations

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AFBF dairy committee member comments on FMMO recommendations

A dairy producer and Farm Bureau member says it’s time to modernize federal milk marketing orders.  Kevin Krentz operates a 600-cow dairy near Brillion, Wisconsin, and served on the American Farm Bureau committee that presented recommendations for Federal Milk Marketing Order changes to USDA Tuesday. 

Krentz says their committee had discussions by phone and in-person with USDA, National Milk Producers, IDFA, universities, and other stakeholders before releasing their report. “Through those discussions, it became clearer and clearer that we needed to build transparency in the system. We need to see if we can simplify the system a little bit, and flexibility for prices that have changed or products that have changed.”

Krentz says along with better price discovery, the committee also wants to see less risk during volatile markets. “Right now, the farmer takes a lot of risk on their shoulders through the volatility, and is there a way to share some of that risk throughout the supply chain?”

Krentz says more transparency and getting the ability for farmers to vote on marketing order rules was very important, and they also have suggestions for better price discovery. “There’s really only about ten percent of milk solids that we produce in this country are used to price our milk check every month, so we wanted to build more products into that.”

Krentz says some common dairy products are not used to determine milk prices yet. “We talked about a number of whey products that are being used that are not necessarily being priced into the system. Mozzarella cheese, there isn’t a standard mozzarella. That’s ultimately built off of Cheddar cheese.”

Krentz says going forward, there will be more uses for the different milk components, and there needs to be built-in flexibility to allow new products to be used in the pricing system, and ultimately, to direct more dollars back to the farm gate.

Krentz says American Farm Bureau’s committee working on these dairy issues began in January 2019 when convention delegates asked the board to put together a work group to look at specifics in the marketing orders and review Farm Bureau dairy policy.   He says the committee has completed its work.