Ag News: Farms Look for COVID Options and Dairy Industry Proposals
**Small farms that lost business from restaurants and other food-service clients have been looking for alternative customers or business models during the COVID-19 pandemic.
More farms now offer food-box options for pickup or delivery, and a number have collaborated with other farms to lend variety to their food-box offerings.
Some farms have also tried e-commerce as a potential way to expand their customer base.
**R-CALF USA will appeal a recent U.S. District Court ruling that the USDA's Beef Checkoff, as currently operated, does not violate the First Amendment by compelling independent American ranchers to fund the speech of multinational meatpackers.
While not recognizing constitutional violations, the March 27 ruling does affirm the finding of the judge that the government had been operating the Beef Checkoff in a manner that violated the free speech rights of ranchers for 30 years before R-CALF filed suit.
**The National Milk Producers Federation and International Dairy Foods Association have submitted to USDA a joint plan to confront the COVID-19 dairy crisis.
milkbusiness.com reports, the groups are proposing all producers cut production 10%, and the program would then pay $3 per hundredweight on the remaining 90% through September should the average Class III/IV price stay below $16.
The second initiative would ensure producers are paid for milk dumped and run through June, when most analysts expect dumping to end.