Dairy Industry Learns How to Respond to Dean Foods Claims During Conference Call

Conference Call Recording and Declaration Letters Are Available to Dairy Farmers

The Center for Dairy Excellence recently released a recording of its ninth Dairy Industry Conference Call. The recording is available to dairy professionals with or without Internet access. Panelists from the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board (PMMB) joined the call and shared information about how the dairy farmers, haulers, and lenders who received payment requests by the Dean Foods Estate trustee should respond to these claims. PMMB discussed how to access declaration letters that can be used as a defense to avoid paying the claims.

Approximately 175 individuals from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Tennessee and beyond joined the call. Panelists from PMMB highly encouraged dairy producers to get the advice of a licensed attorney. When completing and sending back the declaration letters, they shared that individuals should look for the deadline and paralegal’s contact information within the packet they received from Dean Foods. These deadlines and contacts could be different for farms and haulers.

Panelists also answered some of the following questions that were submitted by dairy farmers:

  • Where do we find the declaration letters?  
  • What is the deadline to submit the declaration? 
  • Who do we send the declaration letter to?
  • Does the letter need to be submitted through an attorney?
  • Should dairy farms rewrite the declaration form to reflect their operation?

To get answers to these questions and guidance on how to respond to Dean Foods claims, the following resources are available:

  • Conference Call Recording: The call recording is available from your computer or cell phone via Internet access. Visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/conference-calls, and select “Call #9” from the list of recordings.

    For individuals without Internet access, the recording is available for playback from your landline. To listen to the recording, dial 978-990-5099. Enter access code 553371# followed by reference number 11#.
  • Declaration Letter Online Templates: The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board has developed the following dairy farmer and hauler declaration letters to provide individuals with a defense to avoid paying the claims. Visit https://www.mmb.pa.gov/Consumer/Pages/default.aspx to download these letters, tailor them to your operation, and send them back to Dean Foods.
  • Printed Copies of Declaration Letters: For dairy farmers without access to a computer, call Dr. Carol Hardbarger from PMMB at 717-210-8244 to be mailed a printed copy of the declaration letter.

The Center’s Dairy Industry Conference Call series was launched in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and features different panelists who provide important dairy updates and answer real-time questions submitted by dairy farmers about the industry’s most pressing issues. To date, more than 2,000 dairy farmers and industry professionals have joined the conference call series.

To be notified of future conference calls, sign up for email reminders at www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/newsletter. In addition to Dairy Industry Conference Calls, the Center for Dairy Excellence has COVID-19 resources available for dairy farms. Visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/covid-19 to access this library of resources or call 717-346-0849 for more information.