Release No. 083-09
Becky Unkenholz (202) 720-8998
Billy Cox ( 202) 720-8998
Washington, D.C., May 18, 2009- The U.S. Department of Agriculture today asked for comments on a proposed rule amending the National Dairy Promotion and Research Order. The proposed rule would establish a dairy import assessment program as required by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill) and the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill).
The proposed rule would also amend the term “United States” to mean all States, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The 2002 Farm Bill mandated that the Dairy Order be amended to implement an assessment on imported dairy products to fund promotion and research. The 2008 Farm Bill specified that importers of dairy products be assessed a rate of 7.5 cents per hundredweight, or the equivalent thereof.
The Dairy Board was established under the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983 to develop and administer a coordinated program of promotion, research, and nutrition education to strengthen the dairy industry’s positioning in domestic and foreign markets. Initially, two importer representatives, as appointed by the Secretary, will be added to the current 36-member Dairy Board. Thereafter, importer representation on the Dairy Board will be adjusted at least once every three years if necessary to reflect the volume of imports relative to domestic marketings.
Producers in the added areas of Alaska, Hawaii, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are assessed 15 cents per hundredweight of milk produced and marketed. These four new areas will be added to the regions of closest geographic proximity.
The proposed rule will be published in the May 19 Federal Register. Public comments must be submitted on or before June 18. Comments may be submitted on the internet at www.regulations.gov or mailed to Whitney A. Rick, Chief, Promotion and Research Branch, Dairy Programs, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 2958-S, Stop 0233, Washington, DC 20250-0233, USA. Comments should be identified with the docket number, DA-08-07, as well as the date and page number of the issue of the Proposed Rule.
Copies of the proposed rule may be obtained from USDA, AMS, Dairy Programs, Room 2958-S, Washington, DC 202250-0233, USA from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Proposed Rule is also available on www.regulations.gov and AMS’s website at www.ams.usda.gov/dairy.