Commission members in attendance:

CT: Robert Jacquier, Mae Schmidle, Gabe Moquin (designee for Shirley Ferris)

MA: Mary Kassler, William Gillmeister (designee for Jay Healy)

ME: Linda Smith-Dyer, Fred Hardy, Michael Weirs (designee for Colon Durrell)

NH: Douglas Morris, Debora Erb

RI: Ron Newman, John Smith, Aaron Briggs, Al Bettencourt Jr.

VT: Jacques Couture; Andy Dykstra; Harold Howrigan; Millicent Rooney; Robert Starr.

Members Ex Officio Present: Leon Graves, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

Commission Staff Present:

Kenneth Becker, Executive Director; Dixie Henry, General Counsel; Carmen Ross, Regulations Administrator; David Ferch, Public Information Director; Denise Little, Administrative Assistant; and, Patricia Lammott, temporary Office Assistant.

Chairman Mae Schmidle called the meeting to order at 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 1999

Public Participation:

At the request of the Chair, the members of the audience introduced themselves. They included: Pat Green of Country Folks, Diane Bothfeld of St. Albans Coop, Ray Christensen of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Gail Christensen a dairy farmer, Kay Zeosky from the office of New York State Senator Nancy L. Hoffman, Bob Wellington of Agri-Mark, Beth Foley from the Milk Market Administrator's office in Boston, Carl Peterson of Agri-Mark.

Bob Wellington of Agri-Mark made two remarks: he urged the Commissioners to not pay the obligation to the Commodity Credit Corporation; and, B. Wellington said Agri-mark may be party to a possible lawsuit on federal order reform, which indirectly could affect the NDCC.

Consideration of the Minutes for Prior Meetings:

Motion 9/99-1 by Ron Newman/Second by Bobby Starr

Moved to approve the minutes of the Aug. 4, 1999 meeting as amended to reflect that Gabe Moquin was present as designee for Commissioner Ferris at the Aug. 4 meeting.


Motion 9/99-2 by Ron Newman/Second by Andy Dykstra

Moved to accept the minutes of the Aug. 12, 1999 Special Commission Conference Call Meeting.


Motion 9/99-3 by Ron Newman/Second by Bob Jacquier

Moved to: A) ratify convening of the Aug. 20, 1999 conference call meeting on notice provided; B) to ratify action taken at the Aug. 20, 1999 meeting to establish terms for a settlement in Suiza et al. v. NDCC et al.; C) to approve the minutes of the Aug. 20, 1999 meeting of the Commission.


Motion 9/99-4 by Ron Newman/Second by Andy Dykstra

Moved to approve the minutes of the Aug. 26, 1999 Emergency Commission Conference Call Meeting.


R. Jacquier mentioned that the Aug. 12, 20 and 26 meetings were held by conference call.


K. Becker announced the receipt of a letter from the New England Governor's Conference inviting Commission members to the meeting in Rockport, Me. on Oct 3,4,5.

Financial: Treasurer's Report for month ending July 1999

M. Kassler described the compiled financial reports for the administrative fund and the producer-settlement funds presented to the committee on Sept. 1.

Motion 9/99-5 by Mary Kassler/Second by Ron Newman

Moved to file for audit the compiled financial statements of January through July 1999 inclusive.




Chair's Report:

M. Schmidle commented on the frequency and success of using telephone conference calls for special and emergency meetings. She also mentioned the upcoming rally in support of Compact reauthorization in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 15.

Executive Directors report:

K. Becker said the staff is processing the school milk reimbursement forms on schedule and funds should be forwarded to the schools by mid-September. Also, the process will be streamlined for the coming year and a full report of the reimbursement will be offered at the October meeting. In response to a question by A. Dykstra, K. Becker said there is enough money to cover the reimbursement.

The New York State Dairy Foods et al. V. Dairy Compact et al. case has been briefed and a hearing will be held in a federal court in Boston on Sept. 13, said K. Becker.

The terms of the settlement in the Suiza et al. v Dairy Compact et al. are proceeding apace.

K. Becker complimented the staff members individually on their performance during an important and busy period in the history of the Compact.

Committee on Finance:

M. Kassler said the $411,000 held in escrow was moved into the Commission's bank account and the Committee was reviewing pending bills to ensure the continued good credit of the Commission.

Committee on Administration:

A report would be offered under new business, said R. Newman.

Audit Committee:

Tom Doak, was appointed to be Maine's Commissioner of Forests, said K. Becker. T. Doak was replaced on the Commission by Maine's Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Linda Smith-Dyer.

Bylaws Committee:

No report was offered.

Rules and Regulations Committee:

Report offered under agenda item "old business".

Old Business:

Committee on Administration:

R. Newman said the personnel manual is still being reviewed. A report will be made at the October Commission meeting.

Tracking Committee:

H. Howrigan said September is going to be a crucial month for reauthorization.

He urged Commissioners to attend the Dairy Rally in Washington on Sept. 15.

Leon Graves made comments on the situation in Congress. He said the chances for reauthorization look good but it will be close, based on the makeup of the Agriculture Conference Committee.

Committee on Rules and Regulations:

B. Starr said the Commodity Credit Corp. sent the Commission a bill for $1,363,000. B. Starr said the Committee recommends the Commission pay the bill under protest and send a letter to the CCC explaining the Commission's disagreement with the CCC's conclusion.

Motion 9/99-6 by Bobby Starr on behalf of the Committee on Regulations and Rulemaking

Moved to withhold $1,363,000 from the August pool, paid in September, to reimburse the Commodity Credit Corporation, as required by condition 5 of the Conditions of Consent to the Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact, and to authorize the payment of that sum, under protest, by September 30, 1999.

R. Newman expressed his concern with the CCC obligation and asked for an explanation of its calculation.

K. Becker said the condition put on the Compact by Congress requires the payment. He then walked through the calculation of the $1,363,000.

D. Erb asked about the declaration by USDA of three New England states as disaster zones as a result of the drought and the relation of this announcement to the CCC obligation. USDA considers the issues to be separate, said K. Becker.

W. Gillmeister said the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture questions the CCC obligation and disputes the methodology for computing the sum.


Amendment 9/99-6(a) by William Gillmeister/Second by Ron Newman

Moved to amend the motion (#6 above) to escrow the $1,363,000 with a letter protesting the calculation of this amount under the argument that the calculation should be made based on year-over-year and purchases that resulted from milk production in the U.S.

B. Starr said the Commission pushed in FY 98 for the current formula aware of the situation and urged the formula remain unchallenged.

J. Smith asked about avenues for administrative appeal.

L. Dyer said she opposed the obligation and said the Commission should take a stand to make a statement.

R. Newman asked the chair to ask B. Wellington about the computation of the obligation. The chair recognized B. Wellington who said it was his opinion that the $1.36 million comes from pocket of the farmer.

D. Erb suggested the issue be studied until Sept. 30. and asked the chair to ask L. Graves about the political ramifications of the obligation. To which L. Graves said it would be a mistake to withhold payment given the timing and the effort for reauthorization.

M. Kassler, J. Couture, H. Howrigan and M. Weirs stated their opinion in support of meeting the CCC obligation.


Question (Amendment 9/99-6(a)) Moved by M. Kassler

Second Al Bettencourt Jr..

The vote passed 6 to 0

M. Kassler asked how a vote is resolved if a delegation is evenly divided. M. Schmidle said Roberts Rules of Order recommends that in the event of a tie, there is no vote cast. M Schmidle added the practice has been for individual state delegations to determine resolution of this issue and the Commission bylaws do not govern delegation voting procedures within a state delegation.

The vote on Amendment 9/99-6(a) failed by a vote of 5 to 1, with Maine voting in favor.


Recessed for lunch.

Public Participation:

No member of the public chose to address the Commission.

Deliberative Meeting on Supply Management:

B. Starr said the Committee on Rules and Regulations felt it was appropriate to postpone the discussion until the Oct. 6 meeting because neither the Committee nor the staff had had sufficient time to review the record.

Motion 9/99-7 by Bobby Starr on behalf of the Committee on Rules and Regulations


Moved to postpone the deliberation and decision on the proposed Supply Management Program until the Oct. 6, 1999 regular monthly meeting.




New Business:

The Committee on Administration:


Motion 9/99-8 by Ron Newman on behalf of the Committee on Administration

Moved to pay the Federal Milk Market Administrator's invoice for the June pool and audits completed in July, totaling $9,743.33.




Motion 9/99-9 by Ron Newman on behalf of the Committee on Administration

Moved to pay $10,000 to Attorney Rich Cassidy on account toward his $44,130 bill, as recommended by the Committee on Finance and the Committee on Administration.




R. Newman made a motion to pay back loans. He then refined his motion because the his original motion did not specify the nature of the loans.


Motion 9/99-10 by Ron Newman on behalf of the Committee on Administration

Moved to pay the outstanding principal and accrued interest on the Commission's three bank loans.



Next meeting date:

The next meeting will be held the first Wednesday in October, the 6th, at the Wayfarer Inn in Bedford.

The Committee on Regulations and Rules:

No report offered.

State comments:

R. Newman commented on reauthorization.

There were questions about the scheduling of the November Commission meeting, which were not resolved.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 2 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,





Mae Schmidle

Chairman, on behalf of Powell Cabot, Secretary

Administrative note: The September 1, 1999 minutes presented above represent the first use of a cataloguing system for motions and amendments. Motions include the Month and Year following by a sequential number. Notation of the amendments refer to the relevant motion code with sequential lettering.

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