Pennsylvania Farm Bureau State Board Director John Painter provided testimony to the Pennsylvania Senate Committee on Agricultural and Rural Affairs on behalf of PFB on Tuesday on potential alternatives or revisions to the state’s Class I over-order premium (OOP).
Painter shared PFB’s position on OOP reform.
PFB believes changes to the OOP must be aimed at three primary goals including (1) uniform distribution among all Pennsylvania dairy farmers; (2) the amount charged to Pennsylvania consumers is not substantially more than what is distributed back to Pennsylvania dairy farmers; and (3) the distribution system must not provide incentives by which payment of the premium can be avoided by moving milk across state lines.
Painter also expressed the importance of knowing how much milk is actually sold in Pennsylvania to aide in crafting specific proposals.
PFB supports last session’s Senate Bills 840 and 841 and believes that they can assist in providing better data for all interested parties. PFB supports the mentioned elements to enact a fairer premium structure for all stakeholders.
While we commend the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and related parties for their efforts over the past year to bring a much needed and overdue spotlight to these issues, the General Assembly ultimately has the greatest ability to enact material changes to the over-order premium. As this Committee contemplates whether and how to enact such changes in the coming months, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau stands ready and willing to be a constructive partner in such efforts.
Painter is a Tioga County dairy farmer and serves as the chair of PFB’s dairy committee.