Fourth generation dairy producer Tony Lopes of Gustine and third generation producer Jeremiah Tiemersma of Visalia have been selected to serve as international interns in a new program from the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), the promotional arm of the state's dairy farmers.
The interns, selected from students enrolled in agriculture-related programs at colleges and universities throughout the state, were chosen based on academic achievement, their connection to the industry and a willingness to travel abroad and learn more about international dairy sales and marketing as well as a plan to work in the California dairy industry in the future.
Over the six-week period, each intern will spend time with in-country CMAB marketing organizations – Lopes in South Korea and Tiemersma in China – to gain a better understanding of these markets, consumer buying habits and promotional efforts on behalf of California’s dairy industry.
“California currently accounts for around 33 percent of all U.S. dairy exports so international trade is essential for our continued growth. Over the last decade, the CMAB has worked closely with partners in Asia and Mexico to develop markets for California dairy products. This program is focused on providing insight into international dairy marketing for future leaders like Tony and Jeremiah who will work in the dairy business and one day serve on dairy industry boards and lead industry groups,” said Glenn Millar, Director of International Business Development for the CMAB.
Lopes, 22, recently received a B.S. in Dairy Science from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo where he served on the board of Associated Students, as president of the Los Lecheros Dairy Club and as a Cal Poly Agriculture Ambassador. He also served in leadership positions with the California FFA Association and California Junior Holstein Association. Upon completion of the internship program, he will rejoin the family dairy operation as Operations Team Leader and Manager of Strategic Development.
Tiemersma, also 22, received a B.S. in Agricultural Business from California State University, Fresno and is working on a master’s in International Agriculture. He served as an Agriculture Ambassador at CSU, Fresno’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and in a leadership position with the Agricultural Business Club. When he returns from the internships program, he plans to complete his masters’ studies and pursue a career in the import and exporting of agricultural products.
The CMAB International Internship program’s goal is to provide young agriculture/dairy college students an opportunity to learn about dairy foods and marketing in the international marketplace with a focus on developing leaders who will serve on dairy industry boards, work in dairy foods processing or sales/marketing. The internship is open to college students who are enrolled in a California college or university agriculture/dairy program and have strong ties to the California dairy industry, a willingness to travel abroad and learn about the international dairy industry.
California is the nation’s leading milk producer. It also produces more butter, ice cream and nonfat dry milk than any other state. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese and yogurt. Dairy products made with Real California milk can be identified by the Real California Milk seal, which certifies they are made exclusively with milk produced on California dairy farms.
About the California Milk Advisory Board
The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is funded by the state’s more than 1300 dairy families and is one of the largest agricultural marketing boards in the United States. With a mission to increase demand for products made with Real California Milk, the CMAB promotes California’s sustainable dairy products in the state, across the U.S. and around the world through advertising, public relations, research, and retail and foodservice promotional programs. For more information and to connect with the CMAB, visit RealCaliforniaMilk.com, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.