At Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.'s (DFA) 14th Annual Meeting, the Cooperative unveiled a new tagline "More Cooperative" which underscores a commitment to delivering more resources for members, more quality for customers and more leadership in the industry. More than 1,300 members and industry guests convened in Kansas City for the meeting.
"More Cooperative will mean different things to different people," said Randy Mooney, chairman of DFA's Board of Directors, whose chairman's report led the meeting agenda. "To our customers, it means more quality and more value, and in our industry it means more leadership. To members, it means more resources, more markets, more services and more security. We're all members of DFA for different reasons, but we're all looking to get more value out of our Cooperative."
Highlights of Mooney's chairman's report included discussion on how the Cooperative brings value to members, what DFA is doing to position itself in the global market and its work to move the Dairy Security Act forward.
The annual president's report, delivered by President and Chief Executive Officer Rick Smith, recapped the Cooperative's business during the past year. Smith also detailed DFA's 10 strategic initiatives, including how the Cooperative's commercial business strategy brings more value to members.
Special guests and highlights of the meeting program included:
- A review of "Global Market Opportunities" by Clinton Anderson, partner with Bain & Company
- An inside perspective on "Redefining the Yogurt Category" by Hamdi Ulukaya, founder, president and chief executive officer for Chobani, Inc.
- An update on National Milk Producers Federation's work on behalf of dairy producers by Jerry Kozak, president and chief executive officer
- A discussion about "Promoting and Protecting Dairy Farmer Interest" by Tom Gallagher, chief executive officer of Dairy Management Inc., and Lynn Liddle, executive vice president of communications, investor relations and legislative affairs for Domino's Pizza
At the Annual Banquet Tuesday evening, the 2012 Members of Distinction were introduced. Each year, the Cooperative honors member farms from each of DFA's seven regional Areas that are excelling on their operations, in their communities and in the industry. The 2012 honorees are: Miller Dairy, Hutchinson, Kan.; Alpine Hills Swiss Farm, Dry Ridge, Ky.; Morgan Ranches, Circleville, Utah; R.A. Bell & Sons Dairy, Hampstead, Md.; Edgewood Dairy, Purdy, Mo.; El Dorado Dairy, Clovis, N.M.; and W&J Bylsma Dairy, Oakdale, Calif.
The 2012 scholarship recipients also were announced at the banquet. Scholarships are awarded to outstanding students pursuing a career in the dairy industry. This year's 19 recipients receiving a combined total of $19,750 are: Mikayla Conrad, New Holland, Ohio; Jacob Dueppengiesser, Perry, N.Y.; Jessica Hammerand, Epworth, Iowa; Maggie Harding, State College, Pa.; Ashlie Hardy, Farmington, Maine; Emily Jackson, Waco, Texas; April Johnson, Heron Lake, Minn.; Isaac Jones, Centre, Ala.; Natalie Laubner, Mandan, N.D.; John Long Jr., Amherst, Texas; Calvin Patten, Alexander, N.Y.; Emma Reeves, Dublin, Va.; Wesley Robinson, Laurens, S.C.; Austin Schmitz, Axtell, Kan.; Annie Specht, Bryan, Texas; Matthew Sweeney, Appleton, N.Y.; Ariel Waldeck, Upton, Ky.; Helen Wick, Stilwell, Okla.; and Kai Yuan, Manhattan, Kan.
In addition, outgoing Board directors were recognized for their contributions to the Cooperative during the banquet. They are Tom Croner, Berlin, Pa.; Greg Mitchell, Pecos, Texas; Clyde Rutherford, Clarksburg, N.J.; and Sandy Stauffer, Nicholville, N.Y.
During the business session on Wednesday, Donald Smith of Loretto, Ky., who was elected to fill the Board position vacated by Croner, was formally seated. Several directors who were re-elected to represent their Areas also were confirmed. Jeff Raney of Adamsville, Pa., was previously elected by the Mideast Area Council to succeed Croner as chairman; he also will serve as a member of DFA's executive committee.