Industry Change is Focus of DFA's 13th Annual Meeting

March 23, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Change was a consistent theme throughout Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.’s (DFA) 13th Annual Meeting. More than 1,300 members and industry guests convened this week for the meeting, which emphasized the Cooperative’s focus and determination to embrace the need for change in the dairy industry.

“Volatility in recent years has proven that we can no longer operate with a dated system,” said DFA Chairman Randy Mooney, who kick ed off the meeting on Tuesday. “Faced with challenge, we need to make a choice — as individual producers, as a cooperative and as an industry — to embrace change and position ourselves to seize opportunity.”

Mooney’s chairman’s report included an update on DFA’s work with National Milk Producers Federation on the Foundation for the Future policy proposal. His presentation also focused on the work DFA has done on important issues facing the industry, including immigration, animal care and wellness, and environmental policy and stewardship.


Special guests and highlights of the meeting program included:

What it Takes to Feed the World’s Growing Population
Jeff Simmons, President, Elanco

Highlights and Opportunities (including an update on the Fuel Up to Play 60 program)
Tom Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer, Dairy Management Inc.
Greg Jennings, Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers

Partnering for Progress
Vivien Godfrey, Chief Executive Officer, Milk Processor Education Program
Barbara O’Brien, Senior Executive Vice President, Dairy Management Inc., and President, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy
Tom Suber, President, U.S. Dairy Export Council

At the Annual Banquet Tuesday evening, the 2011 Members of Distinction were introduced. Each year, the Cooperative honors one member farm from each of DFA’s seven regional Areas demonstrating exemplary vision, leadership and innovation in the dairy industry. The 2011 honorees are: Dykshorn Holsteins, Sioux Center, Iowa; Spring-Run Farms, Shreve, Ohio; Graff Brothers Dairy, Delta, Colo.; Heritage Hill Farm, Lacona, N.Y.; Mayer Farms, Sand Hill and 76 Holsteins, Newberry, S.C.; Hinders Dairy, Canyon, Texas; and Vander Schaaf Dairies, Escalon, Calif.

The 2011 scholarship recipients also were announced at the banquet. Scholarships are awarded to outstanding students pursuing a career in the dairy industry. This year’s recipients are: Abigail Andrew, Springville, N.Y.; Justin Bowles, Preston, Idaho; Lisa Lageschaar, Pickton, Texas; Karessa Mann, Hilmar, Calif.; Amanda Moretti, Petaluma, Calif.; Katharine Nye, Delta, Utah; Megan Rice, Firth, Neb.; Bill Squire, Hagerman, N.M.; Justin Squire, Hagerman, N.M.; Laura Stockwell, Hudson, Ind.; Meghan Vaill, Vernon, N.Y.; Emily Waggoner, Pendleton, S.C.; Roxanne Wallace, Tipton, Kan.; and Luke Zeisler, Butte, Neb.

In addition, outgoing Board directors were recognized for their contributions to the Cooperative during the banquet. They are Urban Mescher, Maria Stein, Ohio; Ron Pietersma, Chino, Calif.; Eugene Robertson, Pine Grove, La.; Rod Wenstrom, Fergus Falls, Minn.; and Tom Woods, Gage, Okla.

During the business session on Wednesday, incoming directors who were elected in their Areas were formally seated on the Board. They are Jim Eschliman, Ericson, Neb.; Donnie Fisher, Keatchie, La.; Chuck Moellendick, Pleasantville, Ohio; Frank Ponterio, Melrose, Wis.; and Perry Tjaarda, Shafter, Calif.

Then, President and Chief Executive Officer Rick Smith provided the annual president’s report, delivering a recap of the Cooperative’s business during the past year. He discussed how events and market conditions around the world are affecting the U.S. dairy industry in general and DFA specifically, as well as a sharpened focus on growing the Cooperative’s commercial businesses and enhancing valuable farm services for members.