By Doug Chapin, MMPA Board Chairman
We are obviously in an election year. The news, advertisements and just plain noise are constant reminders of that. However, if you’re a Michigan dairy producer, you have an extra ballot to cast. You will have an opportunity to decide where and how your promotion dollars are used. We are asking all Michigan members to vote “yes” on the Dairy Promotion Referendum. A yes vote does not have a cost to any producer. The passage of the referendum allows 10 cents of the 15 cent checkoff to remain in Michigan.
The Dairy and Tobacco Adjustment Act of 1983 mandates that all dairy producers in the United States contribute 15 cents per hundred weight for promotion and research. This act also allows for state referendums to determine how the mandated 15 cents per hundred weight is divided. If the referendum passes, 10 cents stays in Michigan and 5 cents goes to the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board for national activities. The statute also requires that the referendum be voted on by producers every 5 years. 2022 marks the fifth year of the cycle.
The 10 cents that will stay in Michigan is under the direction of the Michigan Dairy Market Program Committee. This committee is made up of dairy producers that are selected by the Governor. We have several MMPA members on this committee. The Michigan Dairy Market Program Committee has selected the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) to administer our checkoff dollars. MMPA also has several members that serve on the UDIM Board. Our MMPA members who serve on these committees represent all Michigan dairy farmers and they provide direction and oversight of our promotion dollars. You can see the value of keeping our promotion and research dollars close to home where we have a very strong voice in how they are used.
UDIM utilizes programs that help our producers promote dairy and showcase our producers’ efforts on sustainability. UDIM also does a great job with consumer outreach. They have programs that work with schools, health professionals and sports teams. They keep an active and high profile on social media and make sure consumers have the correct information. I invite you to learn more about UDIM at milkmeansmore.com or reach out to one of our UDIM or MMPA board members. UDIM also has staff that are willing to help you.
This October all Michigan dairy farmers have a voice. Vote yes to keep your checkoff dollars in Michigan so that we can decide where and how those funds can be used to their full value. Remember, the 15 cent deduction from your milk check is unaffected by this referendum. A yes vote keeps it in Michigan.
This article was originally published in the September/October 2022 issue of the Milk Messenger. Subscribe »