The Board of Directors at Minnesota Milk Producers Association has finalized a professional services contract with Midwest Dairy Association. Under this new contract, Midwest Dairy's resources will be utilized to carry out specialized Minnesota Milk needs such as accounting and technology, and current staff will continue to fulfill Minnesota Milk priorities as part of the Midwest Dairy staff.
"We have done significant research on where our organization and our industry has been, where it is today, and where we expect it to be years from now," stated Pat Lunemann, president of Minnesota Milk and a dairy farmer from Clarissa, Minn. "We believe this agreement will strengthen our association and add efficiency in our quest to advance the success of our members."
Members of Minnesota Milk will not likely notice any change in the association. Minnesota Milk and Midwest Dairy will maintain their separate identities and independent missions led by their separate boards. Midwest Dairy is prohibited by law from doing many of the initiatives of Minnesota Milk, in particular policy work and dairy farmer assistance. The roles of each association must continue to be separate and distinctly different, which is why all non-checkoff activity will continue to be financed and accounted for separately.
The model of sharing administrative and staffing services between membership and checkoff organizations is common across commodity organizations in Minnesota. Both organizations share the same future, with fewer dairy farms, and the same dairy farmer funders.
"Dairy farmers deserve the best from the organizations they support," stated Bob Lefebvre, executive director of Minnesota Milk. "With increasing pressures on dairy farmers, we need to be more effective in everything we do for our members. This professional services arrangement will maximize the impact we have to our members without increasing dues, which are the same today as when the association began in 1977."