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USDA to hold hearing on dairy farm proposals

DENVER -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to hold a hearing May 4 to consider proposals to revise provisions for dairy farmers who also process or bottle their own milk.

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DENVER -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to hold a hearing May 4 to consider proposals to revise provisions for dairy farmers who also process or bottle their own milk.

The national public hearing on provisions for producer-handlers will be held in Cincin-nati. At issue are funding pools the government set up decades ago to ensure farmers are paid a minimum price for their milk. Processors and bottlers pay into the pools, but producer-handlers don't.

The National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association have proposed scrapping that exemption for the largest producer-handlers, but some mem-bers of the American Independent Dairy Alliance say that would crush their businesses.

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