The USDA will be establishing a Dairy Advisory Committee to "develop changes to the dairy pricing system to avoid the boom and bust cycle behind the crisis facing many dairy farmers this year," says Secretary Vilsack, who has taken an important step toward reforming the federal milk marketing order system.

IDFA congratulates the Secretary for listening to the concerns of producers and processors and will, of course, do all that he can to assure that dairy processors are well represented and that the committee recommends long term reforms that benefit the entire industry.    

This committee will consist of up to 15 representatives of the dairy industry, including producers and producer organizations, processor and processor organizations, handlers, consumers, academia, retailers and state agencies involved in both organic and non-organic dairy at the local, regional, national and international levels.

The committee will be established under the authority of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, which means that the process of nominating the committee's members, and its deliberations, will be transparent. USDA requests that written nominations must be received on or before September 28. Once selected, the advisory committee members will elect a chairperson and vice-chairperson.   

Brandon Willis, deputy administrator for Farm Programs of USDA's Farm Service Agency will serve as the committee's executive secretary. IDFA also is pleased that the Secretary, by choosing Willis, who once worked for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, recognizes that Congressional involvement and approval will be very important to this effort.   

IDFA will soon begin a process to review potential nominations and will present a final list to the Executive Committee of the IDFA Board of Directors for its approval before submitting them to USDA.   

The USDA announcement can be foundHERE.    

Please contact Bob Yonkers at IDFA with any questions regarding this announcement.