The modified proposal to cut the nation's milk supply has been approved by members of the National Milk Producers Foundation. Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) proposal, which is designed to raise milk prices from their extended slump, faced major opposition from small dairy farmers throughout Wisconsin and elsewhere until the check-off funding mechanism was reduced from 18 cents to 5 cents per hundredweight.

CWT will use the proceeds from contributions by participating dairy producers to implement a multi-dimensional program to reduce milk supplies by 1.2 billion pounds over a 12-month period.

The money raised by the program -an estimated $60 million in the coming 12 months-will be apportioned among three supply reduction programs to maximize the program's effectiveness.

The three include a dairy product export assistance program, a herd retirement program, and a milk production reduction program.

"We've revised the CWT concept, lowering the assessment to a nickel, to encourage as many farmers to participate as possible," said Jerry Kozak NMPF's president and CEO. "CWT's goal is to achieve an average 400% net return on investment for farmers," he added. The program's activities are targeting an average increase in the all milk price of 36 cents per cwt., which would result in a net return of 23 cents per cwt., when factoring in the cost of the assessment and lower government Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) payments.