Final Court Decision Confirms Constitutionality of Dairy Checkoff Program

Philadelphia Court of Appeals affirmed constitutionality of dairy checkoff and reverses a decision made in February 2004. Compiled by staff

Published on: Sep 28, 2005

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia earlier this month affirmed the constitutionality of the dairy producer-funded checkoff program, reversing a decision made by the court in February 2004.  

This ruling, which marks the formal conclusion of the legal challenge against the producer-funded dairy checkoff program, follows the U.S. Supreme Court decision in May 2005 that rejected a First Amendment challenge against the beef checkoff program.

"This ruling is good news for America’s dairy producers as their investment in promotion and research helps build sales for U.S.-produced dairy products and ingredients," says Paul Rovey, an Arizona dairy producer and chairman of Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff program. "We’re working hard to help develop lifelong dairy consumers through powerful partnerships that provide a long-term value to producers nationwide."  

According to the USDA, per capita total dairy consumption has increased by more than 13% since 1983, when the national checkoff program was created. Today, the average person consumes more than 592 pounds of dairy products on a total solids basis, compared to 522 in 1983.