Young Cooperators Attend Agriculture Conference

July 14, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Several members of Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.’s (DFA) Young Cooperator (YC) program recently attended the 2011 National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) Annual Washington Conference in Washington, D.C.

These young dairy farmers represented their Cooperative at the meeting and during visits to Capitol Hill to meet with their local legislators and express their views on issues important to the dairy industry, including dairy policy reform, the need for a reliable, legal and stable labor force, and renewable energy policy that strikes a better balance among the needs of all segments of rural America.

Attendees included:
• Wytse and Belinda Aalbers of Primghar, Iowa
• Andrew Folkema of Fremont, Mich.
• Scott Holloway of Bowie, Texas
• Kylie Quesnel of Whiting, Vt.
• Trevor and Jennifer Wayment of Ogden, Utah
• Stephen Weststeyn of Linden, Calif.

To kick off the three-day conference, members attended a special presentation for DFA attendees, which included a session on the Importance of Producer Leadership presented by DFA Board Director Rob Wonderlich, as well as a Lobbying 101 session led by Jackie Klippenstein, DFA vice president of industry and legislative affairs.

The NCFC meeting featured a variety of guest speakers on critical topics facing agriculture cooperatives, including farm policy, the Farm Bill, food security for a growing population, environmental issues and tax reform.

This trip is the latest example of leadership opportunities available to young dairy farmers through DFA’s Young Cooperator program. The program fosters interaction between young dairy farmers ages 18 to 40 who are involved as owners, partners or hold distinct management responsibilities on a DFA-member dairy operation. It facilitates the development of leadership skills, enabling young dairy farmers to improve their industry, their Cooperative and their lives.