Dairy Producers Should Be Allowed to Vote Individually on Federal Milk Marketing Order Reform

National Farmers Organization dairy leaders say it’s time for the elimination of bloc voting by co-ops, when it comes to Federal Milk Marketing Order hearings. Currently, only dairy farmers who are independent and not members of cooperatives may cast individual ballots.

“I believe dairy farmers deserve the chance to have their individual voices clearly represented on dairy matters, especially as it relates to federal milk marketing order reform,” said National Farmers President Paul Olson. National Farmers leaders recommend bloc voting be eliminated relating to activities covered under the Capper-Volstead Act, governmental referendums, Federal Milk Marketing Order reform issues and agricultural promotion plans.

On July 28, the American Farm Bureau Federation issued its priorities report for Federal Milk Marketing Order Reform. They also endorsed giving farmers the opportunity to cast individual votes during the FMMO ballot casting process.

“The structure of the dairy industry has changed dramatically since I started milking cows in the 1960s, and real, positive change begins with farmers’ individual votes tallied on the important matters of Federal Order Reform,” Olson said. The rapid consolidation of buyers has accompanied the development of mega-dairies in several states across the country. National Farmers is advancing a dairy structure overhaul plan that calls for one federal milk market order and a two-tier pricing plan.

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