Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointment of 17 members to a federal Dairy Industry Advisory Committee. Over the next two years, the committee will review the issues of farm milk price volatility, dairy farmer profitability and consolidation, and offer suggestions on ways USDA can best address the needs of a struggling dairy industry. Representatives will include: producers and producer organizations, processors and processor organizations, handlers, consumers, academia, retailers, and state agencies involved in organic and non-organic dairy at the local, regional, national, and international levels.

"USDA has worked tirelessly to assist dairy farmers during these tough times," said Vilsack. "We've increased support prices under the Dairy Product Price Support Program, reactivated the Dairy Export Incentive Program, and bought 200 million pounds of nonfat dry milk for federal feeding programs. This committee, whose members come from all aspects of the dairy industry, will work to find long term solutions to assist this struggling industry."

Producer members appointed to the committee are: Erick Coolidge (Pa.), Timothy den Dulk (Mich.), Debora Erb (N.H.), James Goodman (Wis.), James Krahn, (Ore.), Edward Maltby (Mass.), Manuel Souza (Calif.), Ed Welch (Minn.), and James Williams (Ga.).

Representatives from the processing industry include: Jay Bryant (Va.), Patricia Stroup (Calif.), Sue Taylor (Colo.), and Robert Wills. (Wis.).

Members representing state government, retail, academia, and consumers are: Rodney Nilsestuen (Wis.), Robert Schupper (Pa.), Andrew Novakovic (N.Y.), and Paul Bourbeau (Vt.).

All members will serve two-year terms, beginning in January 2010, and expiring Jan. 1, 2012. The committee was expanded this year from 15 members to 17 and will hold its first meeting in early 2010. The meeting will be open to the public and USDA encourages public participation.

For additional information check the Dairy Industry Advisory Committee website.

Source: USDA