The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard's Dairyman.

Molly Pelzer

Midwest Dairy, the checkoff organization representing over 4,000 dairy farmers in a ten-state region in the Midwest, would like to share that Molly Pelzer, the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Midwest Dairy, has officially announced her retirement from the organization effective in March of 2024. Midwest Dairy’s board has engaged a search firm to guide the selection of the next CEO for the organization.

Pelzer started her career with Midwest Dairy as a program director working with schools and health care professionals in June of 1984. Since then, she has held numerous leadership positions before accepting the role of CEO role in 2019. Prior to Midwest Dairy, she worked with the Midland Dairy Association and Dairy Council, Inc., both former checkoff organizations that are now part of the Midwest Dairy organization. A registered dietitian, Pelzer graduated from the University of Missouri–Columbia.

“Molly has contributed almost 40 years of experience to the dairy checkoff, and her achievements will be celebrated. She has held leadership roles across the organization and has truly made an impact. I have appreciated Molly’s work ethic, devotion to the dairy farmers, and focus on making a difference. I wish her nothing but the best as she enjoys her retirement,” said Charles Krause, Corporate Board Chair of Midwest Dairy. Pelzer is the third CEO in Midwest Dairy’s 23-year history. In her role as CEO, Pelzer provides strategic guidance to Midwest Dairy’s staff of more than 55 employees as they fulfill the organization’s vision: to bring dairy to life, and its mission: to give consumers an excellent dairy experience. Through her leadership, Midwest Dairy focused on maximizing the dairy farmers’ investment in the dairy checkoff by strategic collaboration with targeted retailers, foodservice, wellness, and industry partners, as well as focusing on research that leads to the development of solutions for industry and consumer needs.

During Pelzer's tenure, she has played a critical role in building trust and demand for the dairy industry. She is most proud of creating the metrics scorecard developed at Midwest Dairy over the last four years. Thisscorecard helps clearly communicate to farmers the impact of their checkoff investment. Pelzer has also enjoyed working closely with the farmer boards and takes great pride in checkoff being farmer-led.

“Over my time at Midwest Dairy, I have seen checkoff strategies evolve and foster new ideas that make a difference for dairy farm families. It has been a privilege to work for dairy farmers in each of my roles in dairy checkoff, and I will continue to be a dairy advocate in my retirement. Knowing how hard they work to produce milk that feeds and nourishes the world is a daily inspiration. I owe my career to the dairy farm families in our ten-state region. Thank you for what you do and for allowing me to work with you to build trust and demand for dairy,” said Pelzer.

Midwest Dairy has retained Fred Pabst, Dairy and Agriculture Search Practice Leader at Herd Freed Hartz to lead the selection process for the next CEO. All inquiries should be directed to Pabst, who can be reached by email at More information about the position can be found at

Midwest Dairy® represents 4,400 dairy farm families and works on their behalf to build dairy demand by inspiring consumer confidence in our products and production practices. We are committed to Bringing Dairy to Life! by giving Consumers an Excellent Dairy Experience and are funded by farmers across a 10-state region, including Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. For more information, visit, and follow us on Facebook and YouTube.