National FMMO Pricing Hearing Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why did USDA hold a hearing?

A: A hearing was held at the dairy industry’s request to evaluate changes to the uniform pricing formulas applicable to all 11 Federal Milk Marketing Orders (FMMOs). Proponents sought to amend the uniform pricing provisions due to significant changes in the dairy industry and milk marketing since their adoption in the early 2000s.

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) held the 49-day hearing beginning August 23, 2023, and concluding January 30, 2024, in Carmel, IN, pursuant to the provisions of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. During the hearing, USDA heard testimony and evidence on 21 proposals in five categories: milk composition factors, surveyed commodity products, Class III and Class IV formula factors, the base Class I skim milk price, and Class I and Class II differentials.  

Q: When will USDA issue a Recommended Decision?

A: USDA issued a Recommended Decision on July 1, 2024, consistent with 7 CFR 900.28. A courtesy copy has been posted on the AMS website. The official version of the Recommended Decision will be published in the Federal Register.

Q: When will the Recommended Decision be published in the Federal Register?

A: USDA anticipates the Recommended Decision will be published in the Federal Register in early July 2024.  

Q: Can I comment on the Recommended Decision and, if so, how?

A: Yes, public comments on the Recommended Decision can be submitted via following publication in the Federal Register. Comments may also be filed with the Office of the Hearing Clerk in writing or by fax at the following address:

Office of the Hearing Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Stop 9203, Room 1031, Washington, DC 20250-9203; Fax: (844) 325-6940
Parties will have 60 calendar days from the date of publication in the Federal Register to comment on the Recommended Decision (estimated deadline: early September 2024).

Q: How do I know my comments were received?

A: All comments submitted via or submitted to the Office of the Hearing Clerk are automatically sent to the FMMO rulemaking team. All comments will be available for public viewing at once the comment period has closed. Comments will also be made available for public inspection in the Office of the Hearing Clerk during regular business hours (1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 1031, Washington, DC 20250).

Q:  Who can I contact with questions?

A: Pursuant to 7 CFR 900.16, USDA employees are prohibited from discussing the merits of this Recommended Decision with interested parties on an ex parte basis until a Final Decision is issued. A copy of the Decision can be found on the hearing website listed below. Comments can be filed during the public comment period at or the Office of the Hearing Clerk.

Procedural questions can be submitted any time to  

Q: What are the next steps?

A: All public comments received by the comment deadline, 60 calendar days after publication in the Federal Register, will be reviewed and considered by USDA. Following the comment deadline, USDA will then have 60 calendar days to issue a Final Decision addressing the public comments received.

Q: Will I be able to comment on the Final Decision?

A: No, the public comment process only occurs with the Recommended Decision.

Q: What happens after the Final Decision is issued?

A: Eligible producers will have the opportunity to show their support for or opposition to the FMMOs as proposed to be amended in the Final Decision via the producer vote administered and overseen by USDA.

Q:  Who gets to vote on Final Decision?

A:  Only producers pooled on an order during a specified representative month will be provided the opportunity to vote after the Final Decision is issued. A producer’s eligibility to vote in a specific order referendum will be determined by FMMO Market Administrators. More information on the voting process will be provided with the Final Decision.

Q: What happens after the producers vote?

A: If at least two-thirds of the producers voting or two-thirds of the milk volume represented in the vote approve of FMMOs as proposed to be amended, AMS would issue a Final Rule implementing the changes. Each FMMO will be voted on individually. If the approval threshold is not met, USDA would proceed to terminate the respective FMMO(s).

Q: How can I access copies of the hearing record and associated documents?

A: The hearing record and associated documents are posted on the hearing website.

Q: Who can I contact with procedural and/or administrative questions?

A: Pursuant to 7 CFR 900.16, USDA employees remain in ex parte until publication of the Final Decision and cannot discuss the merits of the proceeding until that time. Questions about process, however, can be directed to the FMMO Rulemaking Team, via email: or phone: 202-720-4392.