Q: If we have a very long exhibit (50 pages or more), do 15 copies need to be provided?
A: Please print four copies of exhibits over 50 pages in addition to electronic submission. USDA will post the electronic version to the Hearing Website for reference. The four copies will be distributed to the Administrative Law Judge, USDA Exhibit Official, USDA Staff, and a set that may be utilized by witnesses during cross examination.
Q: For hard-copy exhibits, are double sided copies ok or do you require single sided copies?
A: Double-sided copies are permissible. Please use discretion to ensure charts and graphs are easy to reference. Individual exhibits must be printed separately.
Q: How are exhibits labeled?
A: “Exhibit,” and then your organization’s acronym-page in the top right corner (Exhibit USDA – 1). Page x of y in the bottom right corner (page 1 of 12). USDA will add an exhibit label upon entry into evidence at the hearing. (See example here.)
Additionally, if you have an exhibit that corresponds with testimony like a graph or chart, you may label it “A.” For example, a chart corresponding to Exhibit USDA-25 could be labeled Exhibit USDA-25-A. This is not required.
Q: If a witness is submitting a written statement and presenting a summary of that statement as testimony, should the summary be filed as a separate exhibit?
A: We encourage a summary statement to be filed as a separate exhibit, but it is not required. If submitted as an exhibit, USDA will label the summary as a separate exhibit into the record. If a proponent has longer written testimony and intends to present a summary of that testimony, the summary should be submitted by 8 a.m. on the morning of planned testimony.
Q: If an organization is testifying on behalf of a proponent, should the exhibit be labeled with an acronym for the organization or the proponent?
A: Please use the “proponent acronym/organization acronym.” For example, Exhibit USDA/AMS - 1.
Q: If charts and tables are embedded within a witness’s statement, do those charts and tables need to be submitted separately as an exhibit?
A: No, they do not need to be submitted separately.
Q: Will exhibits entered into the record be available for use on cross examination?
A: Yes. USDA will compile a hard copy set of exhibits for witnesses to reference during cross examination.
Q: What if we have changes to pre-submitted testimony or exhibits after they have been submitted or after the submission deadline?
A: Please submit a corrected version the morning of testimony, mark the version as “UPDATED” and provide 15 printed copies of the most recent version (or 4 copies if over 50 pages).
Q: When will USDA witnesses testify? question added 8/18/23
A: USDA witnesses will testify regarding data requests received from interested parties at the beginning of the hearing. Later in the hearing, USDA anticipates releasing a Preliminary Economic Impact Analysis and offer a USDA witness to testify on the document.
Q: Will there be a livestream of the hearing?
A: We are planning to provide audio and video streaming of the hearing. Once the streaming information is available, the links and information will be posted on our Hearing website.
Q: Who needs to submit testimony in advance?
A: Proponent witnesses should submit testimony in advance as it pertains to their specific proposals contained in the hearing notice. Dairy farmers do not need to submit testimony in advance, even if they are testifying on behalf of a proponent. Proponent witnesses do not need to submit advanced testimony on proposals for which their organization was not the submitter. Such testimony should be submitted by 8 a.m. the morning of planned testimony.
Q: If a proponent’s testimony is expected to take less than one hour, do they have to submit it as an exhibit in advance?
A: All proponent testimony, regardless of length, must be submitted in advance. This includes if a proponent’s testimony is expected to take less than one hour. If a proponent has longer written testimony and intends to present a summary of that testimony, the summary should be submitted by 8 a.m. on the morning of planned testimony.
Other stakeholders may also choose to enter a longer statement as an exhibit, and then read a summary statement during their allotted 60-minutes. Those stakeholders must submit the summary statement and any accompanying exhibits by 8 a.m. the morning they will testify.
Q: Must opposing witnesses submit testimony in advance?
A: No, we request opposition testimony by any witness be submitted by 8 a.m. on the day of testimony.
Q: Can a proponent testify on subjects other than their proposal(s) that has been accepted?
A: Yes, any witness may testify on any subject within the scope of the hearing. If a witness is testifying on multiple proposals during one session, the testimony is limited to 60 minutes.
Q: May a proponent have a witness testify on a subject area out of order of the hearing schedule (either before or later in the hearing)?
A: Yes. We aim to keep witness testimony aligned with the schedule as much as possible but understand travel and availability considerations may necessitate exceptions. This exception also applies to proponent witnesses testifying in support of or opposition to proposals other than their own; testimony may be offered on combined subject areas.
Q: Can non-proponent witnesses who are not dairy farmers testify?
A: Yes, non-proponent witnesses may testify in person at any time, on any subject within the scope of the hearing. A witness may testify on multiple subjects in one 60-minute session of testimony.
Q: Can a non-dairy farmer testify virtually if extenuating circumstances are provided?
A: Only dairy producers may testify virtually. All other witnesses who would like to testify during the hearing, must do so in-person.
Q: How will dairy farmers testifying on behalf of a proponent testify?
A: Dairy farmers testifying on behalf of a proponent may testify any time in person at the hearing, or virtually on Fridays by registering for one of 10 slots available each Friday beginning September 1, 2023. Be aware, the time slots for each Friday the hearing is in session are opened on Monday of that week, and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Q: Will there be a printer on-site for public use?
A: No. However, there are commercial printing facilities available near the hearing location.
Q: Are there eating venues available near the hearing location?
A: Yes, there are restaurants near the hearing location. In addition, an onsite catering service will be available for purchasing lunch and snacks. Lunch will be limited to no more than 60 minutes.
Q: When will the hearing end on Fridays?
A: The hearing will end at 3pm ET on Fridays, after the conclusion of producer testimony. The exceptions to this are on the first Friday of the hearing, August 25th, the hearing will conclude at 5pm ET and on Wednesday, September 20th, the hearing will conclude at 5 pm ET. The hearing will be in recess on September 21st and 22nd, and will resume September 25th.
Q. Where will the hearing be located? Question added 8/18/23
A. The location of the hearing is: 502 East Event Centre, 502 East Carmel Drive, Carmel, Indiana, 46032