Judge Orders Referendum on Petition to Amend and Terminate California Quota Implementation Plan

California Milk Producers Council

On December 9, Administrative Law Judge Timothy Aspinwall granted the United Dairy Families of California’s (UDFC) request for a referendum to amend and terminate the Quota Implementation Plan (QIP).

UDFC submitted a petition to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) in June, seeking to amend the QIP by equalizing Regional Quota Adjusters so that the Quota premium equals $1.43 per cwt. in all counties, to be followed by termination of the QIP effective March 1, 2025. In July, the Producer Review Board considered UDFC’s petition, recommending to CDFA Secretary Karen Ross that it proceed to a public hearing, which was then held in September under the direction of Judge Aspinwall.

In his ruling, Judge Aspinwall noted that “the issue in this matter is whether Petitioners have met the legal and procedural requirements such that the Petition must proceed to a referendum vote among eligible dairy producers.” The factual findings of the court determined that 27.74% of eligible dairy producers, representing 36.49% of the total production of eligible producers, signed the petition. These numbers exceed the minimum requirement that the petition be signed by more than 25% of eligible producers, representing not less than 25% of statewide dairy production.

The Judge’s order was succinct: “Petitioners’ request for a referendum is GRANTED.” Read the entire Proposed Decision here.

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