What is CWT?

Farmer-Led, Farmer-Funded


What is CWT?

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) is a program designed exclusively by America’s dairy farmers for the benefit of America’s dairy farmers. It is a voluntary, producer-funded, marketing-focused, national program developed by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), to assist family farmers. Launched in July 2003, CWT is, in effect, a federation of cooperatives and producers formed in accordance with the Capper-Volstead Act. CWT operates as an entity within the NMPF structure so that administrative costs and direct program (operational) costs can be kept to an absolute minimum.


CWT is not a government-mandated program.

There is no government involvement in CWT at any level. This allows CWT to respond quickly to changes in market conditions without having to go through a lengthy legislative or bureaucratic process. A government-mandated program would not be able to assist member cooperatives in expanding overseas markets for U.S. dairy products because of trade agreement restrictions.


Dairy farmers invest in CWT.

CWT is supported by dairy farmers producing a majority of the nation’s milk. This includes the producer-owners of approximately 3o cooperatives, as well as independent dairy farmers in nearly every state. CWT members invest 4¢ per hundredweight in this program to achieve higher returns in the marketplace for their products.


Management of CWT establishes policies and oversees programs and activities.

The CWT Committee consists of the NMPF Board of Directors, representatives from each participating cooperative that is not a member of NMPF, and representation for independent producer members of CWT. Representation on the CWT Committee for these various groups of producers is based on milk production volume. The CWT Committee establishes policies and oversees the CWT’s programs and activities.


Every dairy farmer benefits from CWT.

CWT utilizes its Export Assistance program to achieve its goal of assisting American dairy farmers. Since its inception,  CWT’s export assistance program has assisted members in exporting 599.5 million pounds of American-type cheeses, 229.8 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat content) and 56.8 million pounds of whole milk powder 2004 through 2017. Measured on a milkfat basis, those sales sent the equivalent of 11.1 billion pounds milk to over 250 customers in 56 countries on five continents. Visit CWT’s Export Assistance program page for detailed information.