HELENA — The state Board of Livestock has approved a fee arrangement to help pay the costs of dairy inspections.
The plan the board approved Wednesday would slightly reduce the charges for dairy farmers but add fees for processors, such as cheesemakers and large facilities, like Darigold and Wilcoxson’s Ice Cream.
Under the new rule, the monthly fees charged would drop from 15.5 cents per hundredweight to 14 cents. The minimum and maximum monthly fees would stay at $50 and $1,050.
The board estimates the change would create a $16,000 budget surplus next year, providing the Legislature continued its appropriation for the inspections.
Initially, the board had proposed setting the minimum monthly payment for producers and processors at $750. Small companies argued that could put them out of business.
The changes could take effect as early as July.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.