A Big Step For California Dairy Farmers

A Big Step For California Dairy Farmers

August 6, 2013

CDFA Secretary Ross Calls for Hearing

Help for Dairies May Be Close

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

As hoped, California Department of Food And Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross called today for a hearing Sept. 12 to look at a new proposal that will change the 4b cheese milk formula.

“The secretary will have to take in evidence to support the changes that we were requesting in the petition," said Michael Marsh, Chief Executive Officer of the Modesto-based Western United Dairyman.

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross

  • The petition asked for two things.  A temporary price relief for dairy farmers with 46 cents per hundred-weight (CWT) surcharge on milk going into 4b cheese making. That price relief will go for one year.
  • An increase in the whey value in the 4b formula from the current  75 cents per hundredweight (CWT) up to $1 per CWT.

“This increase would add an additional $110 million to the pool of California dairy farmers. At the same time, it would not cost consumers a penny as it simply redistributes assets from the cheese makers back to the farmers.” said Marsh.

Marsh said the hearing will have to happen on Sept. 12, and then sometime after that date, Ross will implement any of the changes at a date that she will determine.

Ross told California Ag Today that she will need to see compelling evidence to advance the proposal.