KANSAS CITY, Mo. — More than 1,500 members and guests gathered in Kansas City for the Dairy Farmers of America’s 19th annual meeting. This year’s meeting emphasized what sets the cooperative apart and those ideals and values that matter most to members, leaders and employees.
“We’re proud of who we are and what we do, and we want to show the world why,” said Randy Mooney, chairman of DFA’s board of directors.
The meeting kicked off with the chairman’s report, delivered by Mooney, who operates a dairy farm in Rogersville, Missouri.
Mooney, who also serves as chairman of National Milk Producers Federation, talked about the importance of the dairy community working together as well as the cooperative’s ongoing efforts with trade negotiations and regulatory issues impacting the dairy industry.
An overview of DFA’s business was delivered by president and CEO Rick Smith. His presentation highlighted DFA’s financials for 2016 as well as how the cooperative strives to take advantage of positive market trends, while also protecting its members from unpredictable market risks.
Smith also discussed how the cooperative remains focused on growing its commercial businesses, in order to better serve and provide value to members.
“Our dairy farmer members are at the heart of everything that we do at DFA, which is why we want to show the industry, as well as our customers and consumers, why being a part of DFA matters,” said Smith. “As we look to the future, we will continue to look for ways to maximize the milk check, while also identifying growth areas for our commercial businesses and providing on-farm services that make it easier and more profitable for our members to farm.”
Additional highlights of the meeting program included:
- A look at the dairy industry’s role in U.S. trade negotiations from former U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Dairy Export Council.
- Futurist Mike Walsh shared the mega-trends shaping the future of business and lessons learned from successful companies on leveraging innovation, embracing data and transforming agriculture for the digital age
- An overview of dairy promotion activities by Tom Gallagher, chief executive officer of Dairy Management.
The banquet brought a host of recognitions, including the 2017 Members of Distinction.
Every year, family members at one farm from each of DFA’s seven regional areas are recognized for service to their dairies, their families, communities and the industry.
Winners of the 2017 DFA Cares Foundation Scholarship were announced. DFA Cares Scholarships are awarded to outstanding students pursuing a career in the dairy industry. This year, 45 recipients will receive a combined total of $53,000 toward their undergraduate and graduate level studies.
For more information, call 1-888-DFA-MILK (332-6455) or visit www.dfamilk.com.