Press Release

Gillibrand Applauds Proposed Amendments To Federal Milk Marketing Orders Calling For A Return To The “Higher Of” Formula

Jul 1, 2024

Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Local Food Systems, and Food Safety and Security, praised the recommended decision by USDA proposing amendments to all eleven Federal Milk Marketing Orders to restore the “higher of” Class I pricing formula. This recommended decision comes after years of advocacy by Senator Gillibrand to rectify the pricing change made in the 2018 Farm Bill. Gillibrand also recently led a bipartisan group of senators to restore the “higher of” pricing formula.

“Our dairy farmers deserve to be fairly compensated for their products, and for too long they have felt the economic ramifications of the 2018 Farm Bill pricing change. I am glad that the proposed amendments to the Federal Milk Marketing Orders recognize that the dairy pricing system is not working for our farmers and has not performed as intended since Congress changed it in the 2018 Farm Bill. I look forward to working with USDA to finalize these amendments to support our New York dairy farmers,” said Senator Gillibrand.

Prior to the 2018 Farm Bill, Class I milk was calculated using the “higher of” Class III or Class IV price plus the applicable Class I differential. This was changed in the most recent Farm Bill to an averaging method of Class III and Class IV plus $0.74. The resulting loss of income for dairy producers has led to increased calls from the industry for USDA to resolve this issue with the Class I mover through the Federal Milk Marketing Order system.