At that event, NMPF Chairman Randy Mooney commended U.S. dairy farmers for their persistence in supporting positive change for their industry, noting that challenges are nothing new to producers and that their unity has brought progress in encouraging better federal farm policy.
“We’re nourishing families around the world through milk’s unbeatable nutritional value,” said Mooney. “I’ve dairied for a long time, through good times and bad times, but there’s never been a time that I haven’t laid my head down on my pillow at night and been proud of what I accomplished on my farm.”
Dairy producers in the past year have faced operating margins at their lowest since the federal dairy safety net was adopted in its current structure in 2014 as prices plummeted from record highs. Meanwhile, the U.S. farm bill has expired, and dairy farmers are seeking a fairer milk pricing system through a USDA-led Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) hearing, which began in August and will resume Nov. 27 after a temporary pause.
Following Mooney onstage was NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern, who is retiring at the end of this year after leading the organization for a decade. In his remarks, Mulhern reflected on the challenges dairy farmers have met and how they will meet the challenges to come.
“I’ve tried to remain true to what I see as the hallmark of the dairy community: people who work hard, approach things with common sense, care passionately about the product they produce,” Mulhern said. “You all strive to do the right thing. And I can tell you, looking over the course of my career, those are qualities that can take you a very long way.”
Along with adopting official federal policy positions, NMPF’s membership also raised funds for the organization’s college research scholarships and held its annual cheese and dairy product contest in conjunction with the meeting.