NOVI, Mich.–In October, Michigan dairy farmers will have the chance 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). Ballots will be mailed Oct. 4 and must be returned by Oct. 19.
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.
“If we pass the referendum, the Michigan dairy industry can keep the funds necessary to continue to support education programs and advertising in our own geographic area and in other areas that benefit our producers,” says Ken Nobis, Michigan Milk Producers Association president and dairy farmer from St. Johns, Mich. “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.”
Over the years, UDIM has established numerous partnerships with health agencies, state agencies and leaders in the field of education. 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.
MMPA is a member-owned and operated cooperative serving 2,000 dairy farmers in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana.