Marketing Agreements and Orders

Marketing Agreements and Orders are designed to stabilize market conditions and improve returns to producers through the establishment of minimum prices, regulating the quality and quantity of commodities sold through commercial channels, and providing market promotion.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Program Accomplishments

(Marketing's conducted under agreements and orders) fiscal year 2006, estimate $24.9 billion.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The provisions of orders and agreements are designed specifically to meet the marketing and economic problems of the commodity or area covered.

For dairy products, the orders establish orderly marketing conditions in the sale of milk by dairy farmers to handlers, whereas fruit, vegetable, nut, and grass seed, are established to regulate the quantity and quality of products sold in commercial channels.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Marketing orders are issued by the Secretary of Agriculture only after a public hearing where milk, fruit and vegetable producers, marketers, and consumers testify, and after farmers vote approval through a referendum.

Growers of certain fruits, vegetables, and specialty crops (like nuts, raisins, olives, and hops).

Dairy farmers are the primary applicants.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The beneficiaries are producers of milk, fruit and vegetable products.


Evidence (usually hearings) required indicating that agreement or order will assist in the orderly marketing of a commodity.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Made in the form of a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture fully documenting the need for an agreement or order.

Award Procedures

Decision to establish or not to establish an agreement and order is made by the Secretary of Agriculture after public hearings and referendums are conducted.




Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended, 7 U.S.C. 601, 602, 608a-e, 612, 614, 624, 671-674; Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, Public Law 100-203, 7 U.S.C. 4501- 4513; Agriculture and Food Act of 1981, 7 U.S.C. 2242a.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Subject to time required to hold public hearings, investigations and to conduct a referendum. Approximately 1 year after start of public hearings.





Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Duration of agreement and order.

Post Assistance Requirements


Quarterly and yearly financial and statistical reports are to be made to the applicable AMS commodity division by producers or handlers as provided for by each agreement and order.


Financial and program audits pertaining to marketing agreements and order transactions are made periodically.


Financial and statistical records relating to the operation of the agreement and order are to be maintained for 3 years.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Salaries and expenses) FY 07 $15,493,000; FY 08 est $16,798,000; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance


Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

AH-421, Compilation of Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act; PA947, Can a Marketing Order Help?; PA-1095, Marketing Agreements and Orders for Fruits and Vegetables; AMS-565, Sources of Milk for Federal Order Markets by State and County; AMS-559, Questions and Answers on Federal Milk Marketing Orders; MB-27, The Federal Milk Marketing Order Program; SB-625, Federal Milk Order Market Statistics, Annual Summary; SB-624, Dairy Market Statistics, Annual Summary; MB-63, Market News Service on Dairy Products; How to Buy Dairy Products, HG-201; How to Buy Cheese, HG-193; How to Buy Butter, HG-148; Diary Products Grading Services, MB-69; Judging and Scoring Milk and Cheese, FB-2259.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 720-4276.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals


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