Media attention will turn toward the Supreme Court this month for two important rulings. Did you know the federal government used Supreme Court precedence involving a dairy processor and dairy farmers to argue the constitutionality and precedence for Obamacare and the individual mandate? Contributor Ben Yale explains the context for the government’s case in his article (click here to read). The court will also issue its ruling in the matter of Arizona v. U.S., which will impact states’ legal bounds for immigration status inquiries and enforcement.

Cooley walt polo
Editor & Podcast Host / Progressive Dairy

More reaction to and analysis of the impact from this ruling to follow this summer.

Given the high-profile review of Arizona v. U.S., I made a special request of our regular contributor and dairy consultant Tom Wall for this issue.

Depending on how the court rules, criminal offenses – such as DUIs or assault – could open the door to more state and local law enforcement inquiries into the immigration status of the offender. Thus, a Friday night party may lead to detention in prison and a no-show for work on Monday.

I asked Tom to suggest why a dairy should be concerned about off-the-clock employee behavior and how to deal with it.


Do you think it should it be your concern? I think he makes a compelling case why it should, regardless of how the Supreme Court rules. ( click here to read .)

Next, this issue contains our annual table of data on the average value generated from milk per operation for each state. New this year is an additional column that removes the bias of herd size to show the value of milk production by pound in each state. ( click here to view .)

Obviously, states with higher Class I utilization capture more value per pound than other states. But what’s interesting is that the No. 1 and No. 3 dairy states, California and Idaho, are the bottom two states in providing value per pound to producers.

It’s not surprising, then, that producers in both of those states have recently been lobbying for changes that would impact formulas for their milk price.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture recently held a hearing to review a petition from the industry to change the formula for pricing milk utilized for cheese production within the state. (Reporting from that hearing will be included in the next issue.)

Idaho producers recently signaled that they would be open to inclusion in the Federal Order again. In the Idaho Dairymen’s Association’s April newsletter, the group indicated it would present its membership with a proposal to support federal and state marketing orders for Idaho instead of being opposed to them, as previously chartered.

Idaho was the first Western state this year to twice report a decrease in its milking herd size, down 4,000 cows since the beginning of the year. ( click here to view .)

I view both states’ regulatory reform efforts as evidence that two of the country’s top dairy states are trying to remedy what are current business environment weaknesses.

Finally, for a few years now, we’ve been taking note of June Dairy Month events held around the country. This issue we followed up on a few that seemed to be crowd-pleasers. ( click here and here ).

This list of events is not comprehensive and we would welcome hearing about the event you’re planning to celebrate Dairy Month this year. Perhaps you have a similar or even better event. PD


Walt Cooley
Progressive Dairyman