DFA’s 12th Annual Meeting Explores New Future of Dairy Industry

March 25, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.’s (DFA) 12th Annual Meeting, held March 23-24, brought together more than 1,200 members and industry guests. In recognition of the unprecedented challenges facing the dairy industry in recent months, this year’s theme – Focused on Today, Committed to Tomorrow – paid homage to these struggles and highlighted the resulting changes that will help lead to a brighter future for the dairy industry.

Special guests and highlights of the meeting program included:

• The Value of Cooperatives
Chuck Conner, president and chief executive officer, National Council of Farmer
Chris Policinski, president and chief executive officer, Land O’ Lakes
Moderator: Jackie Klippenstein, vice president of industry and legislative affairs, DFA

• Opportunities in the Global Marketplace
Clinton Anderson, partner, Bain & Company

• More Dairy, More Ways
Tom Gallagher, chief executive officer, Dairy Management Inc.
Brandon Solano, vice president of brand innovation, Domino’s Pizza
Alex Conti, senior director of U.S. menu management, McDonald’s Corporation

• President’s Report
Rick Smith, president and chief executive officer, DFA

During the meeting, attendees paused to reflect on the legacy left by former Board Chairman Tom Camerlo, who passed away in December 2009. A special tribute video was unveiled, and the annual ice cream social was dedicated as a remembrance of Camerlo’s life and contributions. In addition, the inaugural Tom Camerlo Leadership Award was presented to longtime industry leader and DFA Board member Clyde Rutherford, who also is president and chairman of Dairylea Cooperative Inc.

At the Annual Banquet, DFA honored outgoing Board Directors Mike Ferguson of Senatobia, Miss., and Perry Tjaarda of Shafter, Calif. During the business session, incoming Directors who were elected in their Areas were formally seated on the Board. They are Eugene Robertson of Pine Grove, La., and Pete Olsen of Fallon, Nev.

DFA’s 2010 Members of Distinction – member farms from each of DFA’s seven Areas that demonstrate exemplary vision, leadership and innovation in the dairy industry – were introduced at the banquet. The 2010 honorees are: Boening Brothers, Floresville, Texas; Estes Farm and Dairy, Fountaintown, Ind.; Hillcrest Dairy, Elmwood, Ill.; Ideal Dairy Farms, Hudson Falls, N.Y.; Mac Pate Dairy, Maryville, Tenn.; Ornellas Dairy, Tracy, Calif.; and VanderVegt Dairy, Paul, Idaho.

In addition, DFA announced the 2010 scholarship recipients. Scholarships are awarded to outstanding students pursuing a career in the dairy industry. This year’s $1,500 scholarship recipients are: Ryan Best, Portales, N.M.; Michelle Dirksen, Bryant, Ind.; Katie Donnan, Galway, N.Y.; Nancy Jackson, New Cambria, Mo.; Samantha LeFevre, Delta, Utah; Stephanie Neal, North Canton, Ohio; Katharine Nye, Delta, Utah; Jamie Pfaff, Melrose, Wis.; Megan Rice, Brookings, S.D.; Ana Leigh Schweer, Watertown, S.D.; Bill Squire, Hagerman, N.M.; and Justin Squire, Hagerman, N.M.