Here’s an update on news impacting your dairy during the last week of March 2024.

Lee karen
Managing Editor / Progressive Dairy

January fluid milk sales up 2.4% from last year

Fluid milk sales for 2024 are off to a good start. According to data from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service:

  • Total sales: January sales of packaged fluid milk products were estimated at 3.88 billion pounds, up 2.4% from the same month a year earlier.
  • Conventional products: Monthly sales totaled 3.61 billion pounds, up 2.5% from the same month a year earlier. Whole milk and flavored whole milk were up 5.2% and 12.1%, respectively, while total fat-reduced milk sales were down 1.9% compared to January 2023.
  • Organic products: January sales totaled 259 million pounds, up 14 million pounds from the previous month and 0.2% from a year earlier. Whole and flavored whole milk categories increased, while sales for fat-reduced milk decreased. Organic represented about 6.7% total fluid product sales in January.

The U.S. figures are based on consumption of fluid milk products in Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) areas, which account for approximately 92% of total U.S. fluid milk sales, and adding the other 8% from outside FMMO-regulated areas. Sales outlets include food stores, convenience stores, warehouse stores/wholesale clubs, nonfood stores, schools, the food service industry and home delivery.

Influential dairy leaders awarded by World Dairy Expo

World Dairy Expo announced the recipients of the 2024 Expo Recognition Awards. Nominated and selected by their peers, these individuals have made remarkable contributions to the dairy industry and their communities. The 2024 recipients are:

  • Dairy Producers of the Year – Mike Larson, Ed and Barb Larson, Sandy Larson and Jim Trustem of Larson Acres in Evansville, Wisconsin
  • Industry People of the Year – Jim Barmore, Marty Faldet and King Hickman of GPS Dairy Consulting LLC in Lakewood, Minnesota 
  • International Person of the Year – Paul Larmer of Semex in Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Honorees will be formally honored during the Recognition Awards Banquet at World Dairy Expo on Wednesday, Oct. 2.


Oregon reverses CAFO requirement for small dairy farms

The Oregon Department of Agriculture announced last week that effective immediately it withdraws its policy that the act of milking an animal in a barn, or the washing of equipment used in milking an animal, triggers a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) permit coverage requirement.

Many small-farm operators involved in livestock production could have been required to obtain a CAFO permit under the withdrawn policy, but it is no longer necessary in most cases. 

While small-farm operators may not be subject to CAFO regulation, the State of Oregon prohibits all agricultural activities that cause water pollution and place waste where it may enter the state’s waters.

AABP creates guidelines for using credentialed veterinary technicians

The American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) recently created a board-approved set of guidelines, “AABP Guideline for Credentialed Veterinary Technicians in Bovine Practice,” to assist its members in effectively using credentialed veterinary technicians (CVTs) in bovine practice.

Credentialed technicians are required to complete continuing education for their licensure, unlike those who might hold a position of veterinary assistant. These terms should not be interchangeable. States and provinces may define CVTs differently, says Dr. James Bennett who chaired the AABP CVT Task Force responsible for creating these guidelines.

Bennett says the new guidelines are meant to provide guidance on how veterinarians can broaden the delegation of tasks to CVTs. “The underlying assumption is that bovine practitioners can benefit from increasing delegation, and these guidelines might be used as a roadmap toward that end.” Bennett adds that guidelines may help AABP members who are involved with development or changing practice acts in their state or province.

“AABP has made significant progress in engaging CVTs in bovine practice,” says AABP Executive Director Dr. Fred Gingrich. “The first step was to create a membership category and welcome veterinary technician colleagues to join AABP. Historically, CVTs have been leveraged in brick-and-mortar companion animal practices, and guidance was needed for how we can expand their role into bovine practice to improve our efficiency, provide better care to beef and dairy farm clients, and allow the veterinarian to focus on tasks only they can perform.”

New Zealand and EU ratify trade agreement

New Zealand ratified a free trade agreement with the European Union earlier this week. The European parliament ratified its side of the agreement in November, and the agreement is set to come into effect on May 1.

New Zealand expects the deal to benefit its beef, lamb, butter and cheese industries, as well as removing tariffs on other exports like its iconic kiwi fruit.

The EU will see tariffs lifted on its exports including clothing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and cars, as well as wine and confections.