The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board has released the Dairy Producers’ Opinion Survey Report. The 47-page report, authored by Consumer Member Carol Hardbarger, Ph.D., analyzes and evaluates data collected by the board regarding Pennsylvania dairy producer knowledge of Pennsylvania’s milk pricing system, including the over-order premium. The report also categorizes producer opinions regarding Pennsylvania’s milk pricing system and relates suggestions for change related to those opinions.
The report is based on a 36-question survey made available online and by paper copy beginning Feb. 18, as well as the results of four listening sessions the board hosted throughout Pennsylvania between September 2018 and February 2019.
“The main takeaway is that we have a lot of work to do,” stated Hardbarger. “There are a lot of misconceptions about milk pricing and any benefits to producers.” Respondents are aware of the federal role in pricing, yet they have little knowledge of what PMMB does. They are also very aware of Pennsylvania’s over-order premium (OOP), but few believe it is distributed in a fair way, particularly members of dairy cooperatives. Most strongly believe the board should review and revise both the minimum pricing system and the OOP system.
“We plan to use our findings to develop an extensive education and outreach program,” concluded Hardbarger.
The report is available on the board’s website at mmb.pa.gov/Consumer/Documents/DairyProducerFinalReport.pdf. The board plans to conduct additional surveys of other industry segments.