DFA Young Cooperators Attend National Milk Producers Federation Annual Meeting

November 29, 2007

Kansas City, Mo. - Twenty-two young members of Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) participated in a national education and leadership development conference held Nov. 12-14 in Orlando, Fla. Media training, dairy promotion and exports, farm succession planning, dairy legislation and other national dairy issues highlighted the meeting.

The DFA members attended National Milk Producers Federation’s (NMPF) annual meeting and Young Cooperator (YC) conference where nearly 1,000 dairy industry leaders gathered to discuss national dairy promotion and marketing issues. The NMPF meeting was held jointly with the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board and the United Dairy Industry Association.

“Providing educational and leadership development programs for our young members is critical to the future of the dairy industry and DFA,” says Tom Camerlo, of Florence, Colo., chairman of DFA’s Board of Directors. “National Milk’s program provides a great experience to learn about national dairy issues, meet industry leaders from across the country and share ideas with other young cooperative members.”

The young cooperative members were challenged to serve as ambassadors for the dairy industry through the media. They participated in hands-on training and faced real-life situations to respond to on camera. In a related session, the YCs were encouraged to spend an hour per week doing something to promote the dairy industry.

They learned about national dairy legislative issues like the 2007 Farm Bill and immigration reform. Other key topics included: record milk prices and the economics behind them, dairy nutrition for children and teens, rising U.S. dairy exports and consumer demand for dairy products.

Four DFA members completed a year of service on NMPF’s National YC Advisory Council. Larry and Amy Bailey, from Fort Ann, N.Y., served as the chair couple and Jeff and Tammy Styczynski, from Pulaski, Wis., served as the vice chair couple. In these leadership positions, they helped to plan and facilitate the national Young Cooperator conference.

Next year, Myles and Lori Payne, from Taylorsville, N.C., and Tom and Tammi Serr, from Newport, Neb., will represent DFA on the national council.

DFA members attending NMPF’s annual meeting and YC conference were:

  • Larry and Amy Bailey, Fort Ann, N.Y.
  • Mark and April Dotterer, Rittman, Ohio
  • Henry and Chrissy Gaby, Greeneville, Tenn.
  • John and Tracey Huss, Woodville, Ohio
  • Dawn Idsinga, Portales, N.M.
  • William McIntosh, Brighton, Colo.
  • Paul and Teresa Morgan, Circleville, Utah
  • Myles and Lori Payne, Taylorsville, N.C.
  • Tom and Mary Portner, Sleepy Eye, Minn.
  • Tom and Tammi Serr, Newport, Neb.
  • Jeff and Tammy Styczynski, Pulaski, Wis.
  • Randy and Kristi Tapia, Miles, Texas