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Industry News

Read coverage of current events and news affecting dairy producers and the industry.

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Hagens Berman, on behalf of several dairy consumers, including Compassion Over Killing (COK) members, recently filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of consumers alleging that various dairy companies and trade groups, including the National Milk Producers Federation, Dairy Farmers of America, Land O'Lakes, Inc. and Agri-Mark, Inc. combined to form Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) in order to fix the price of milk in the United States.

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A national group that has promoted agricultural training for nearly a century is seeing a boom in membership among young people interested in agricultural careers.

Indiana and other states are seeing a rise in membership in FFA, formerly known as Future Farmers of America. More than 17,000 new students joined the FFA organization nationwide in the past year, an all-time high for the 83-year-old group, The Republic reported (http://bit.ly/pfZXEF).

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It isn’t every day that students get to work out with professional football players, but students representing 34 Michigan schools will have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on Sept. 27 during this year’s Fuel Up to Play 60 Kick Off to School Health at Ford Field in Detroit. Students will learn a number of fun and easy-to-implement “plays” that can be incorporated into their nutrition and physical activity programs, inspiring students, schools and communities to create healthier school environments.

The third annual Kickoff event is presented by the Detroit Lions, Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM). The day’s “game plan” includes music, motivational talks, practicing football training camp-style skills with Detroit Lions players and trainers, and tasty food.

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A new study indicates that a large segment of consumers do not believe U.S. farmers should be responsible for addressing global hunger.

In its latest analysis of consumer trust in the food system, the Center for Food Integrity (CFI) found that 40 percent of those surveyed strongly disagreed that, “the United States has a responsibility to provide food for the rest of the world.”

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I wrote earlier this year about the drivers of U.S. milk production and, in particular, the link between the dollar margin over feed cost and production growth trends (See “U.S. milk production: Shouting down the supply chain,” May 2nd issue, pg. 23).

It seemed clear at the time that the sharp decline in seasonal production during the latter part of 2010 was due to a margin squeeze on dairy producers – feed prices were rising and milk prices falling.

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Click here to download a pdf of the latest Export Watch update, provided by the U.S. Dairy Export Council. PD