FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 29, 2016
Georgia Dairy Farmers to Vote to continue Georgia Milk Marketing Order
Georgia dairy farmers will have the opportunity to vote starting Tuesday, March 1, to extend the Georgia Milk Marketing Order for an additional three years. The current order was approved by producer vote in 2013, and will expire June 30, 2016.
Federal law requires U.S. dairy producers to pay $0.15 cents per hundredweight into the national Dairy Checkoff Program to drive increased sales as well as demand for dairy products and ingredients. With the current marketing order, $0.10 cents of the $0.15 cents per hundredweight producers invest remains at the state level. If the order is revoked, all of the $0.15 cents per hundredweight producers invest will be sent directly to the national Dairy Checkoff Program.
The Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commission for Milk (ACCM) was created in 1969, and is recognized as a qualified program under the rules of the Federal Milk Marketing Order. The order allows the money collected to be used by the Georgia Milk Commission. The money is used in state to promote milk consumption in addition to education about the benefits of dairy products and where milk originates. One of the more visible educational projects is the Mobile Dairy Classroom. This interactive exhibit travels throughout the state visiting many schools and events to demonstrate how cows are cared for and milked. In 2015, more than 100,000 people watched demonstrations by the mobile dairy classroom.
The ballot period for the market order is March 1st-30th. The back of ballots must be signed and they must be mailed no later than midnight on March 30th to be eligible. If a dairy producer is in need of a ballot please contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture at: 404-586-1405.
About the GDA The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is the voice of the state’s agriculture community. The department's mission is to provide excellence in services and regulatory functions, to protect and promote agriculture and consumer interests, and to ensure an abundance of safe food and fiber for Georgia, America, and the world by using state-of-the-art technology and a professional workforce. For more information, visit www.agr.georgia.gov.