Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he is moving forward with a plan to establish a Dairy Industry Advisory Committee, in response to the needs of producers in the dairy industry. The Secretary says he will appoint up to 15 representatives of the dairy industry to serve in an advisory capacity on the committee. Representatives will include: producers and producer organizations, processors and processor organizations, handlers, consumers, academia, retailers, and state agencies involved in organic and non-organic dairy at the local, regional, national and international levels.
Earlier this month, Secretary Vilsack promised to move forward with establishment of a charter creating the committee for two years. Once appointed, the committee will review the issues of farm milk price volatility, and dairy farmer profitability. The committee will also offer suggestions and ideas on how USDA can best address these issues to meet the dairy industry's needs. USDA is establishing the committee under the authority of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972. Written nominations must be received on or before Sept. 28. Details will be published in the August 28 Federal Register.