In an effort to further advance the National Milk Producers Federation's strategic agenda, Emily Meredith, formerly NMPF's vice president of animal care, has been promoted to chief of staff, the organization announced Thursday.
NMPF also welcomes two staff to the Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) animal care program team to help ensure that the effort continues to effectively serve the needs of the farmers, cooperatives and processors who participate in it.
As chief of staff, Meredith will take on new responsibilities for strategic planning, organizational oversight and management of staff activities. Meredith will manage the Office of the CEO, working for president and CEO Jim Mulhern and in tandem with NMPF's senior leadership.
"Emily has done a great job for the entire dairy industry with her skillful management of the FARM Program, building producer, processor and customer support, and effectively telling the story of the great job America's dairy farmers are doing on animal care," Mulhern said. "Those skills will now be applied more broadly across the Federation's activities. Emily's focus and attention to detail will benefit our members and staff as we move forward," he said.
Meredith had served as NMPF's vice president of animal care, and manager of the FARM Program, since 2014. She will continue to oversee the FARM Program, with the support of two new staff members who will assume day-to-day management of the program and report to Meredith in her new role.
The new hires include Emily Yeiser Stepp as FARM Program manager, and Beverly Hampton as FARM coordinator.
For the past four years, Emily Yeiser Stepp served as the dairy initiatives manager for the Center for Dairy Excellence in Harrisburg, Penn. Most recently, she served as the dairy and beef extension coordinator at the University of Maryland.
Yeiser Stepp, of Annapolis, Md., got her start in the dairy industry through the 4-H dairy leasing program. She received a degree in animal science from Pennsylvania State University and a master's in dairy science from Virginia Tech. Her research was focused on how mastitis and metabolic diseases affect dairy cow behavior.
Beverly Hampton also comes from an agriculture background, as she grew up on her family's farm and helped run her parent's agritourism business. She attended North Carolina State University, where she served as a North Carolina State FFA Officer and a National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassador. She graduated with a degree in poultry science.
While in school, Hampton worked as the communications intern for the Animal Agriculture Alliance. For the past year, Hampton has provided industry technical assistance for U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.
Both women start their new roles on May 9.
"We are very excited to welcome Emily and Beverly to NMPF and the FARM Program," said Mulhern. "Their individual experience, expertise and enthusiasm will help ensure that the FARM Program continues to address the needs of farmers, and the entire dairy supply chain."