May 7, 2024

2024 Farm Bill Taking Shape

Last Wednesday was a big day for the 2024 Farm Bill. Leaders released farm bill frameworks on both sides of Capitol Hill: Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) 94-page-long section-by-section document (along with a raft of supporting material) and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn Thompson’s (R-PA) title-by-title overview of his forthcoming bill. These moves represent significant progress toward passage of a farm bill this year.


Chairwoman Stabenow’s decidedly thorough proposal shows real progress towards drafting legislation, introduced as the “Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act.” Chairwoman Stabenow pitched the legislation during a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday and during many calls with journalists, organizational leaders, and state stakeholders. Throughout these public statements, Chairwoman Stabenow invited further negotiations with Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR), who says he will issue his own framework for the bill after a House markup. There is not yet a time set for a Senate Agriculture Committee markup.


Chairman Thompson’s overview may not be as detailed, but House Agriculture Committee majority staff briefed lobbyists over the last two weeks about what to expect in their bill. Chairman Thompson publicly committed to holding a committee markup of his bill on May 23. We expect to see full text of his proposal about five days in advance of the markup.

(Source: National Farmers Union)

Mailbox Milk Prices

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the mailbox milk prices or net prices for 2023, which show a steep drop from 2022. California Dairy Campaign continues to contact members of Congress and the Administration to call for a change in direction in federal dairy policy. According to the latest agriculture census, the number of dairy farms nationwide dropped by 40% in just five years. The farm bill is an opportunity to change direction by incentivizing the balancing of milk production with profitable demand, which will improve and stabilize farmer milk prices and prevent the loss of more dairy farms. 

Producer Review Board Recommends Changes to Quota

California Dairy Campaign Field Representative Joe Melo traveled to Tulare last Wednesday for the Producer Review Board meeting. By a vote of 9 to 4, the Producer Review Board (PRB) voted to reduce the quota differential from $1.70 per cwt to $1 per cwt to more closely align with current Class I revenues. In addition, the PRB voted to eliminate regional quota adjusters (RQAs), so all quota holders would be paid the same amount. The PRB also voted to clearly define criteria for consideration of hardship cases.

The PRB-recommended proposals will be sent to California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Karen Ross, who will determine whether to hold a referendum on the proposed changes to the Quota Implementation Plan (QIP). More information about the PRB meeting is linked here.

White House Welcomes Public Input on America’s Groundwater Challenges

Public comment opportunity on groundwater challenges

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) has launched a working ground on America’s groundwater and is welcoming input on groundwater challenges. California Dairy Campaign and California Farmers Union plan to provide comments in support of the development of a report to advance government-wide action on groundwater. All are welcome to submit comments.


Public comments must be provided no later than July 1, 2024, to, with “Groundwater” in the subject line of the email. Submissions should be no more than five pages in length, provide actionable ideas, and not include proprietary or any information inappropriate for public disclosure. More information and PCAST’s full post on this issue can be found here.


As the PCAST post on this comment opportunity notes, groundwater is critical for agriculture, among many other industries, and supplies drinking water for about half of the U.S. population, and nearly all of the rural population in the United States. In western states, groundwater resources are being depleted at a high rate, especially from agricultural withdrawal.


Groundwater depletion is exacerbated by climate change. The quality of groundwater has also become so poor that it can negatively affect the communities that rely on it, especially in tribal and farming communities. While groundwater is managed locally, there may be opportunities to develop and scale approaches to restore clean water in all communities, regardless of geography and local conditions. (Source: NFU)

All the Latest on Water Issues

California Dairy Campaign and California Farmers Union are calling on farmers to participate in their local Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA). Decisions are being made right now that will greatly affect access to water in the future. Some of the measures will pass if landowners do not submit their ballots in time because if a landowner does not file a protest vote, that parcel of land could be considered a "Yes" vote. Our field staff is updating dairy producers about GSA activities in each area.

Below, please find the web link for information

about your local GSA.

For More Information, Contact

the California Dairy Campaign Office at 209-632-0885.


Dairy Plus Field Days

Join Us for the Field Days: 10 AM - 12 PM, Lunch to Follow

• May 16 – Subsurface Drip Irrigation, Merced County - REGISTER

• May 23 – Vermifiltration, Fresno County - REGISTER

• May 30 – Weeping Wall, Tulare County - REGISTER

AMMP, Dairy Plus, and DDRDP

Signup Happening Soon

The signup process for the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP), Dairy Plus, and the Dairy Digester Research and Development program will begin this spring. It is never too soon to start preparing your application. Each program requires an application, so it’s important to start this process (engineer design, permits, talking with vendors, working with financial institutions) as soon as possible.

Contact California Dairy Campaign Field Representatives

Joe Melo and Lisandra Vitorino for more information and to get started on your application.

Contact the CDC Office at 209-632-0885.

Funeral Services for Joe Louro

For more than 30 years, Joe was a dedicated and beloved member of the

California Dairy Campaign team. His passing is a great loss to all of us. 

We are keeping our dear friend Joe's family in our thoughts and prayers.

Services for Joe Louro will take place on

Tuesday, May 7th

Viewing 4-6 with Rosary at 6 pm at Turlock Memorial Funeral Home

The Funeral will take place on Wednesday, May 8th

10 am mass at

Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Hilmar

For More Information

Contact Executive Director

Lynne McBride

California Dairy Campaign

California Farmers Union

325 Mitchell Avenue

Turlock, CA 95380

Phone: 209-632-0885

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