DFA Leaders Inducted Into Cooperative Hall of Fame

February 15, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Two leaders of Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) – one past and one present – recently were honored for their service to the dairy industry. Larry Purdom, who currently serves on the DFA Board of Directors, and former DFA employee Bill Blakeslee were recently inducted into the Missouri Cooperative Hall of Fame.

The Missouri Institute of Cooperatives developed the Cooperative Hall of Fame to ensure a permanent, prestigious recognition for future generations of cooperative leaders with exemplary service and lasting achievements.

Purdom, who lives in DFA’s Southeast Area, was one of the initial proponents for the creation of DFA. He served on the Mid-America Dairymen, Inc. (Mid-Am) Board when the cooperative merged with three other regional cooperatives to form DFA in 1998. Today, the Purdy, Mo., resident is chairman of DFA’s Dairy Education and Political Action Committee. He also serves as president of the Missouri Dairy Association.

For four decades, Blakeslee was a leader in milk marketing activities and an advocate for better milk prices for dairy farmers. A long-time employee of Mid-Am, he also was instrumental in the development of the cooperative’s long-term strategic plan, which set the foundation for the formation of DFA. He retired from DFA in 1998 as corporate vice president of marketing and planning and lives in Nixa, Mo.