Michigan dairy farmers have until Oct. 13 to decide where the state’s dairy promotional dollars will be spent during the next five years. A majority Yes vote on the Dairy Promotion Referendum ballot, mailed to every state dairy producer, will continue the educational and promotion efforts of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM).
Under national law, 15-cents per hundredweight are deducted from dairy producers milk checks for advertising and educational programs. The law permits 10 of the 15 cents to remain in Michigan to fund local programs. The upcoming referendum will decide whether or not that 10 cents will stay in Michigan or go to the national level. Ballots were mailed Sept. 26 and must be returned by Oct. 13.
If we pass the referendum, the Michigan dairy industry can keep the funds necessary to continue to support education programs and advertising in areas that benefit our producers, says Ken Nobis, Michigan Milk Producers Association president and dairy farmer from St. Johns, Michigan. If the referendum fails, the Michigan dairy industry loses control of how and where that entire 15-cents is invested. This is one very big reason why my fellow dairy farmers should take the time to vote yes and return those ballots.
UDIM works strategically to promote the Michigan dairy industry through partnerships, education and advertising. Their goal is to connect with consumers to share dairy nutrition information and connect them with Michigan’s dairy farm families. The relationships promote programs such as school breakfast and fighting childhood obesity by including dairy as part of a healthy diet along with getting 60 minutes of physical activity every day. UDIM continues to lead school health and wellness initiatives, playing a part in the development of school food standards that recognize the value of dairy in good nutrition.
UDIM has a long history of sound management and excellent vision, Nobis says. Programs initiated by UDIM in Michigan have broad appeal at the national level and lead the way in building partnerships with individual consumers and associations.
The 15-cent per hundredweight checkoff is authorized by the Dairy and Tobacco Adjustment Act of 1983. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development administers the Michigan referendum.
The Michigan Milk Producers Association established in 1916 is a member-owned and operated milk marketing cooperative and dairy processor serving approximately 1,700 dairy farmers throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana.
Source: Farmers Advance