Dairy Leaders Participate In Industry Update

DFA Meeting Discusses State of the Dairy Industry
October 28, 2011

Stephenville, Texas – The growing momentum for dairy policy reform, global market opportunities and feed availability were highlighted topics at the Southwest Area Industry Update meeting hosted by Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) this week. At the meeting in Stephenville, Texas, more than 100 DFA members, industry stakeholders, management and staff gathered to explore these and other issues influencing the future of the dairy industry.

The Dairy Security Act of 2011 and its role in the future of the industry was a key topic at the meeting. A dialogue led by John Wilson, senior vice president and chief fluid marketing officer for DFA, and Dana Brooks, senior vice president of government relations for National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), explored various components of the Act and highlighted DFA’s work with NMPF during the last three years to develop dairy policy that better protects the interests of dairy farmers.

“It is critical that momentum for dairy policy reform continues,” Wilson says. “The Dairy Security Act of 2011 provides dairy farmers options to protect their margins and the ability to strengthen exports. These are key factors in keeping the U.S. dairy industry viable.”

Tom Suber, president of U.S. Dairy Export Council, delivered a presentation that discussed current global market opportunities for the dairy industry, as well as opportunities on the horizon.

A panel moderated by Todd Bilby, Ph.D., an associate professor and extension dairy specialist for AgriLIFE Extension, discussed the current challenges dairy farmers are experiencing with feed availability in the Southwest Area. Panelists included Dan Senestraro, director on DFA’s Board and Southwest Area Council member; Alan Vander Horst, Southwest Area Council member; and Ellen Jordan, Ph.D., a professor and extension dairy specialist for AgriLIFE Extension.

Additional topics at the meeting included updates on DFA business and the dairy markets.

The Southwest Area represents 339 member dairy farms, producing more than 8 billion pounds of milk annually. The geographic area is divided into 12 districts and serves New Mexico as well as parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arizona.