Starting July 1, members of Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) will double their investment in the fourth year of this historic self-help economic program.

Starting with July’s milk production, CWT member cooperatives and individual farmers will begin contributing 10 cents per hundredweight, an increase of five cents per hundredweight from the current level of commitment.  The additional revenue will be used to continue CWT’s two-pronged approach to reducing milk supplies in an effort to improve the economic climate for America’s dairy farmers.  The higher assessment will run through 2007, and ensures that CWT will be able to fund additional herd retirement efforts, as well as its ongoing export assistance program.

With milk production up 4.1 percent through the first five months of 2006, compared to year-earlier levels, “Farmers are looking to CWT to provide leadership in helping bring some balance to supply and demand, but that requires a greater investment of resources than the program has required in its first three years of operation,” said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, which manages CWT. “CWT needs to grow in order to continue being effective in the future, and our members are to be credited for stepping up to the plate and digging deeper in their pockets for the additional revenue.”

Kozak said that CWT’s membership volume as of July 1st will be approximately 70 percent of the nation’s milk supply.  That figure includes cooperatives fully participating at the higher, 10 cent assessment level, as well as others that continue to be contributors at the five cent level for the remainder of 2006.

“Over the past three years, CWT activities have been a key factor in helping to balance supply and demand in the marketplace” Kozak said.  “The U.S. dairy farmer community has rallied around the CWT program like no other because it is producer-run, it is efficient, and it has made a difference.”            
 
Cooperatives Working Together is being funded by dairy cooperatives and individual dairy farmers, who are contributing 10 cents per hundredweight assessment on their milk production through December 2007. The money raised by CWT’s investment is being apportioned among several supply reduction programs to improve the national all milk price. For more on CWT’s activities, visit   www.cwt.coop

Cooperatives Working Together