Farmer FAQs

What is the Dairy Checkoff?

Dairy farmers across the country contribute 15 cents per hundredweight (cwt) of milk they produce to the national dairy checkoff program to help build dairy product demand. This contribution supports marketing and advertising campaigns, product ingredient and nutrition research, and education programs that help build demand for milk and dairy products.

Statistics show that the checkoff program is working! Per capita dairy consumption has grown 11 percent since 1984 when the checkoff program was first instituted.

How are we funded in Maine?

For every hundredweight of milk produced, 15 cents goes to dairy checkoff programs. That money is divided between the national and local promotional programs: ten cents stays with the local dairy promotion organization, and five cents goes to the national dairy promotion effort. The Maine Dairy Promotion Board is funded through the USDA authorized dairy checkoff assessment and Maine statutes from Maine dairy farmers’ dairy checkoff assessments, receiving eight cents of the ten cent assessment. The Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council receives the remaining two cents, as well as one and a half cents per cwt from dealers or producer/dealers for milk purchased in Maine, or purchased out of state and sold in Maine. The five cent balance of the total fifteen cents is collected through the National Dairy Board (NDB).

How are we organized?

Both the Maine Dairy Promotion Board and the Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council are USDA qualified programs. Our programs are members of United Dairy Industry Association (UDIA), an umbrella organization and federation of 18 active qualified programs.

NDB funds UDIA’s research and development. Together, UDIA and NDB created and fund Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) through checkoff money and dues. DMI is responsible for developing the Unified Marketing Plan, programs and materials, such as the Got Milk? campaign, 3-Every-Day of Dairy initiative and the New Look of School Milk. Maine Dairy Promotion Board and Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council are responsible for implementing those programs within the state of Maine.