California Milk Order Vote Likely Passes with Major Coops' Support

Backing from 75% of California's dairy producers via supporting votes from three major cooperatives should result in the state being the 11th member of the Federal Milk Marketing Order. ( California Dairies, Inc. )

The vote for California to enter the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) looks like it has passed with the support of three major milk marketing cooperatives.

On May 7, California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Land O'Lakes, Inc., jointly announced their members have voted to support the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed FMMO for California.

All three of the cooperatives have been working together to help members receive more equitable, market-based milk prices in California.

“Three years ago, farmer leaders of our cooperatives agreed to work toward a change in the regulatory structure, one that would benefit California dairy farm families. Following careful consideration of the final decision issued by USDA, we believe the proposal will better address disparities between farm gate prices in California and the rest of the nation. It is our pleasure to now conclude this administrative process with joint support for the proposed Federal Order language,” the three cooperatives said in a joint statement.

Prior to the vote, the cooperatives held learning seminars for members to give an overview of USDA's March 30 final decision regarding the FMMO. Each of the cooperatives then participated in bloc voting, meaning a single affirmative vote from each cooperative represents the voting cooperative's total membership in the state.

Our partners over at Farm Journal’s MILK report that the backing of California Dairies, DFA and Land O'Lakes should result in California entering the FMMO. Those three cooperatives represent 75% the dairies in California and the vote to enter the order requires a two-thirds majority.

Results should be made official by USDA later since voting ended on May 5. Should the results go as expected California will be the 11th member of the FMMO starting Nov. 1, 2018.