May 14, 2024

House Agriculture Committee

Farm Bill Dairy Title Details

The House Agriculture Committee Chairman GT Thompson, R-PA, released details about his farm bill proposal. The Dairy Section appears below:

Bolsters dairy programs to continue providing vital assistance.

• Increases the cap on Tier I coverage for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program to 6 million pounds, as seen in H.R. 4125.

• Provides an opportunity to update DMC's production history.

• Provides a 25% discount on DMC premiums for operations that enroll in coverage for the life of the 2024 Farm Bill.

• Mandates biennial cost surveys to ensure make allowances accurately reflect the cost of manufacturing dairy products as seen in H.R. 1756. 

• Restores the “higher-of” formula for the calculation of the price of Class I (fluid) milk until such time that updates to a Federal Milk Marketing Order are ratified, a modification of the provisions of H.R. 1756.

• Ensures the Dairy Forward Pricing Program does not expire. 

California Dairy Campaign has been contacting members of Congress to call for a return to the "higher of" in the Class I Pricing Formula, which is included in Chairman Thompson's farm bill proposal. CDC also supports mandatory manufacturing costs surveys, which are also included in the chairman's bill. In addition, CDC called attention to the failure of the existing DMC eligibility criteria to cover the majority of California's milk production.

Cheese Production

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the latest information on cheese production. During the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Federal Milk Marketing Order Hearing, California Dairy Campaign proposed adding mozzarella to the Class III pricing formula so that producer prices paid are more market-oriented.

The Class III price sunk to $15.50 per cwt in April. If mozzarella is added to the Class III formula, dairy producers would be paid prices based on higher moisture and higher yield mozzarella cheese. This growing segment of the cheese market has already surpassed cheddar cheese in US cheese production and is expected to continue strong and steady growth.

California Cattle Council Hearing

June 11, 2024, in Sacramento, CA

The California Cattle Council hearing is set for June 11 in Sacramento, CA. Testimony is due by June 6 and can be submitted by mail or email to California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDA) staff Ben Kardokus.

California Dairy Campaign and California Farmers Union plan to testify in opposition to continuing the $1 per head CCC checkoff.

California dairy producers already pay more than their fair share into the beef checkoff system due to the number of times that dairy cows are routinely sold, and doubling the beef checkoff created a greater financial burden. 


Despite the fact that just 19% of all eligible cattle and dairy producers actually voted, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) doubled the beef checkoff in 2019 to establish a "California Cattle Council." California Dairy Campaign urged CDFA to extend the voting period to enable more producers to vote in the referendum, but CDFA denied the request.


California Dairy Campaign and California Farmers Union urged beef and dairy producers to "OPPOSE" doubling of the checkoff from $1 to $2 per head. CDC opposed the creation of the “California Cattle Council” because it would fail to be open, transparent, and participatory for all the beef and dairy producers who would be required to pay twice as much in beef checkoff taxes.


In other states where participation among beef and dairy producers was greater, including Oklahoma and Missouri, attempts to double the beef checkoff were soundly defeated. In 2012, CDFA conducted a similar statewide referendum to double the beef checkoff from $1 to $2 per head. That referendum failed, making it clear that beef and dairy producers do not support a checkoff increase. However, supporters of doubling the beef checkoff lowered the threshold for passage and shortened the voting time frame to circumvent the demonstrated will of beef and dairy producers statewide, who opposed paying twice as much in beef checkoff taxes.


The refund provision in the measure is overly cumbersome by requiring beef and dairy producers to request a refund each time a cow is sold. Instead, beef and dairy producers should have the option to voluntarily contribute additional checkoff dollars instead of being burdened with time-consuming refund requests. CDC plans to continue to call for expedited refund provisions for producers. More information can be found on the CCC website

May CDQAP Newsletter

Bird Flu Update

CDQAP Newsletter

No Cost Bulk Tank Volume Verification

Producers in the Federal Milk Marketing Order system get paid based on how much milk they have on their farms, and the California Federal Order 51 Marketing Services (MS) program makes sure they get paid the right amount by checking the big tanks where they store milk. MS staff come to farms with a special machine that measures how much milk is in the tanks, collects samples, and makes sure everything is working correctly. If there's a big difference between the measurements, they do more checks or fix the tank for free.

If you have questions, you can contact Richard Koeberle at

(916) 857-8529 or

More information is linked here.

Contact California Dairy Campaign at 209-632-0885

for more information.

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.

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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