USDA Announces Hearing on Proposed California Federal Milk Marketing Order

 
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Source: United States Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will hold a public hearing starting on Sept. 22, 2015, in Clovis, Calif., to consider the establishment of a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) for California.

The hearing, which USDA expects to last several weeks, will begin at 9 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Sept. 22, 2015, at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Building, 808 Fourth Street, Clovis, Calif.  93612. The hearing is open to the public. USDA will hear testimony and receive evidence regarding four proposals for a FMMO in California.

The California dairy industry represents 20 percent of all U.S. milk production and is currently regulated under a state marketing order. The 2014 Farm Bill allows for a California FMMO that recognizes certain state-specific aspects of the current order, if recommended by USDA and approved by California dairy producers. In February, AMS received a formal hearing request from California Dairies, Inc.; Land O Lakes, Inc.; and Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. to establish a FMMO in California. AMS received additional proposals from the Dairy Institute of California, the California Producer Handlers Association, and Ponderosa Dairy. All of the proposals can be viewed at www.ams.usda.gov/CAOrder. USDA has not taken a position on any of the proposals included in the Notice of Hearing, which has been transmitted to the Federal Register and is expected to publish soon.

Those interested in testifying should notify USDA upon arrival at the hearing. For a copy of the hearing notice and additional information, visitwww.ams.usda.gov/CAOrder or contact William Francis, Director, Order Formulation and Enforcement Division by mail at USDA/AMS/Dairy Program, Stop 0231-Room 2969-S, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-0231; by phone at (202) 720-6274; or by e-mail at william.francis@ams.usda.gov.

The hearing will be overseen by an impartial Administrative Law Judge who will ensure testimony and evidence presented fall within the scope of what is contained in the Notice of Hearing. Anyone may testify.

Individuals requiring a sign language interpreter or other reasonable accommodations should contact Diane Hirsch, AMS Dairy Program, by phone at (425) 487-5601 or by e-mail at dhirsch@fmmaseattle.com before the hearing begins.

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