Congressman Costa joined fellow Valley Representative David Valadao in introducing legislation that would allow California dairy producers the option to enter into the Federal Milk Marketing Order. Currently, California operates under its own state-based order that establishes the price milk processors pay based on the dairy products they make, but many dairy producers have expressed concerns that they are paid less for their milk than producers in federal order states. The California Federal Milk Marketing Order Act is similar to the approach Costa advocated for during the Farm Bill negotiations last Congress.
"Far too many dairies in California have been forced to shutter their operations due to high feed prices and low returns on their products," said Costa. "Having grown up working on a dairy, I know the industry's unique challenges and am deeply committed to help dairymen and women keep their operations afloat. Our legislation will put control back in dairymen and dairywomen's hands and give them the option to choose what works best for their business."
The bipartisan legislation would not require California to enter the Federal Milk Marketing Order. Instead, it would allow producers the option to petition the Secretary of Agriculture for entrance into the Federal Order. Two-thirds of producers would have to vote in support of the change before California could transition to the new order.