The author, a dairyman in Chino, Calif., is a board member and economics consultant for the Milk Producers Council. This piece appeared in the MPC newsletter dated Oct. 13 and is used here with permission
Ballots sent out by the California Department of Food and Agriculture are appearing in California producers’ mailboxes this week. Up for a vote is the Quota Implementation Plan (QIP) developed by the Producer Review Board (PRB). This plan is designed to allow the continuation of the California quota program IF California producers decide to join the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) program.
What is happening now is NOT a vote on the FMMO. It is a vote on the state plan to operate the quota system if producers eventually vote to join the FMMO system.
At the MPC board meeting this past Tuesday, the QIP was thoroughly discussed by the MPC board. A motion was passed to endorse the plan and recommend a “yes” vote to our fellow California producers.
MPC for many years has objected to the milk prices established under the California State Order. MPC has been very supportive of the effort by the California producer owned cooperatives to petition the federal government for the establishment of a California Federal Milk Marketing Order. At the same time, MPC has always been a strong supporter of the California quota program and shared and relies on the commitment by the cooperatives that only if the quota value can be protected would we be willing to consider supporting an FMMO for California. What is before us now is the quota piece which is an essential pre-condition for being able to consider a California FMMO next year. Therefore, it is vital that the QIP be approved by California producers.
In order to address any questions producers may have, three meetings jointly sponsored by the three major California cooperatives and the three producer trade associations will be taking place. The first of those meetings is next Monday, October 16, 2017 at the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau office located at 1201 L St. in Modesto. The Page 4 of 4 meeting starts at 10:00 a.m. There will be a presentation and the opportunity for questions and answers. There is another meeting scheduled for November 6 at the Chino Fairgrounds, 5410 Edison Avenue in Chino and November 7 at the Tulare Heritage Complex, 4450 S. Laspina in Tulare.
For the result of the vote to be valid, 51% of the eligible voters need to cast a ballot. The deadline for the votes to be returned is December 4. If you are ready to vote yes, get your vote in today before you forget! If not, come to one of these meeting and get answers to your concerns.