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For Nielsens And Wapsie Valley, Independence Is More Than The City, It Keeps Them Growing


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USDA Releases Dairy Promotion Reports For 2013, 2014, And 2015

Agency Was Criticized For Not Submitting Mandatory Reports To Congress

Washington—USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) this week released two long-overdue reports to Congress on the Dairy Promotion and Research Program and the Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Program.

Prior to this week, the last dairy checkoff report released by AMS had covered 2012 program activities. One of the reports released this week is a combined report covering 2013 and 2014 program activities, while the other report covers 2015 program activities.

The enabling legislation of the dairy producer, dairy importer, and fluid milk processor promotion programs requires USDA to submit an annual report to the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.

The annual report includes summaries of the activities for the dairy and fluid milk programs, including an accounting of funds collected and spent; USDA oversight; and independent analyses of the effectivenesss of the advertising campaigns.

USDA had come under criticism from the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM), National Dairy Producers Organization (NDPO) and Parke Wilde, a Tufts University professor who sought the reports for his teaching, for failing to submit the mandatory annual promotion reports to Congress (for more details, please see Recent Mandatory Dairy Checkoff Reports Haven’t Been Published Yet, USDA Says, on page 1 of our Sept. 15, 2017).

The delayed release of the 2013-15 annual reports to Congress represents a multi-year effort on behalf of USDA and the independent evaluators to develop a more reflective illustration of the programs’ changing strategic direction from traditional dairy and milk promotion activities, according to a USDA spokeswoman.

Modifications to the econometric modeling, novel simulations developed by the independent evaluation team, and securing the necessary data for these impact analyses posed “significant challenges,” the spokeswoman added. Those challenges further set in motion a series of year-over-year delays but were “essential” to ensure adequate economic evaluation of the dairy and fluid milk promotion programs.

The enabling legislation for the dairy producer and fluid milk processor promotion programs requires an annual independent analysis of the advertising and promotion programs that operate to increase consumer awareness and sales of fluid milk and dairy products. Texas A&M University researchers were awarded a competitive contract to complete the study.

Chapter 3 of both newly released reports (and chapter 4 of the combined report) summarizes the quantitative evaluation of the effectiveness of the dairy and fluid milk promotion programs. Due to data revisions, the results from the 2015 report are not comparable to previous reports.

For the 2015 report, the national promotion programs were evaluated with the following key question

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