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DFA terminates independent agreements in Mideast

This week 225 independent dairy farmers in the Mideast region of the U.S. were notified by Dairy Marketing Services they will need to find a new marketer for their milk by the end of November.

“Those producers that are affected by this particular mailing are mostly in Ohio, Indiana, although there are a few producers in Kentucky, New York and West Virginia, and the state of Pennsylvania.  There are none in the state of Michigan.”

Heather McCann with Dairy Farmers of America tells Brownfield farmers are encouraged to find other marketers in the region or DFA will offer them membership into the cooperative.  “No one is going to lose their market through this process, but what we need to do is share those costs a little more equitably.”

She says with current Federal Order regulations and unprecedented growth in the region, it’s no longer practical to share marketing costs between independent and cooperative member dairy farmers.  “Because of that excess supply, that means there’s additional costs for balancing and transportation, and because there’s a lot of milk, that means that premiums are actually shrinking.”

McCann says farmers that are impacted by this transition will be offered special membership accommodations with DFA. Independent organic dairy farmers are not affected.

Nine hundred independent dairy farmers in the Northeast received similar notifications this past March.

AUDIO: Interview with Heather McCann

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