MESHOPPEN, Pa. — Arden Tewksbury, manager of Progressive Agriculture Organization (Pro-Ag), announced at a press conference that several farm organizations, milk cooperatives and county commissioners have petitioned the USDA for a national milk hearing for all dairy farmers.
The milk hearings would allow dairy farmers to testify and illustrate the severity of the problems that the majority of dairy farmers are experiencing.
For instance, in 2016, the average dairy farmer shipping milk to a milk handler that was regulated under one of the ten federal milk marketing orders received an average price of $15.38 per cwt. (hundredweight).
At the same time, the USDA’s figures illustrate that the national average cost of producing milk in 2016 was $21.87 per cwt.
Another petition submitted to the USDA seeks to abolish the present pricing formula used by the USDA to price milk and develop a new pricing formula that would consider the dairy farmers’ cost of producing milk.
It was signed by the commissioners of ten counties and went to the Pennsylvania secretary of agriculture, U.S. senators and U.S. members of Congress on May 27, 2016.