Ag. Secretary Vilsack establishes dairy advisory committee, seeks nominations

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WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that as part of USDA’s continuing efforts to listen to and respond to the needs of producers in the dairy industry, he is moving forward on establishing the Dairy Industry Advisory Committee and is requesting nominations.

Committed

“The Obama Administration is committed to working with all sectors of the dairy industry to develop changes to the dairy pricing system to avoid the boom and bust cycle behind the crisis facing many dairy farmers this year,” said Vilsack. “The input provided by the members of this committee will play an important role in building a more stable market for dairy producers for years to come.”

Earlier this month, Secretary Vilsack promised to move forward with establishment of a charter creating the committee for two years. Once appointed, the committee will review the issues of farm milk price volatility and dairy farmer profitability.

Suggestions and ideas

The committee will also offer suggestions and ideas on how USDA can best address these issues to meet the dairy industry’s needs. USDA is establishing the committee under the authority of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972.

The Secretary of Agriculture will appoint up to 15 representatives of the dairy industry to serve in an advisory capacity on the committee.

Representatives

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.

Nominations

Written nominations must be received on or before Sept. 28, and should be sent to Judith Lindsay, secretary to Brandon Willis, Deputy Administrator, Farm Service Agency, Farm Programs, USDA Room 3612-S, Stop 0501, Washington, D.C. 20250-0501; faxed to 202-720-4726 or e-mailed to: judith.lindsay@wdc.usda.gov.

Advisory committee members will elect the chairperson and vice-chairperson who will each serve a two-year term. As deputy administrator of the FSA Farm Programs, Willis will serve as the committee’s executive secretary.

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