During this past year, 24 youth scholarship recipients were recognized with nearly $30,000 awarded for educational opportunities. Youth opportunities continue to be part of the cooperative’s fundamental efforts to ensure we have tomorrow’s farm and industry leaders. A silent auction held during the cooperatives annual meeting helps to establish additional educational opportunities throughout the year for youth in addition to these scholarships.
Sharing national promotion efforts, Nate Janssen, on behalf of Dairy Management, Inc. spoke about several new initiatives where companies were collaborating with dairy farmers, like McDonald’s in creating their new video “Thank You to Farmers.” The video features dairy farmers and their families from across the country, showcasing the dedication it takes to keep the nation fed. Initiatives by Quaker Oats, Taco Bell and Domino’s along with McDonalds are proving to be great partnerships with dairy producers.
Following his presentation, delegate members discussed and passed a number of resolutions, helping direct the organization on its policy platform. Resolutions on federal milk order reform, international trade and standards, consumer awareness, dairy product utilization and promotion, dairy inspections, tax policies, environmental quality, power line siting, farm safety, animal health, right-to-farm laws, guest worker and raw milk were approved by delegate members.
The annual meeting concluded with a Town Hall member session, led by cooperative leaders and staff. This particular session provided an overview of the organization’s operations, reviewed current programs and services and discussed challenging issues faced by the industry and its members. This open discussion with members, the board of directors and staff provided a great dialogue where questions were asked, concerns were addressed and suggestions were provided, all items which serve to improve the cooperative going forward.
“Each of our beginning cooperatives were founded out of grassroots initiatives. It’s that same foundation that created FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative. We are committed to maintaining those same values, by ensuring that our members have a voice and are well-represented through us,” said David Cooper. “
Established in 2013, FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, based in Madison, Wis., is the largest dairy marketing cooperative in the Midwest. Dedicated to its family farm members, the cooperative represents nearly 5,000 farms in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana through policy bargaining, dairy marketing services, laboratory testing opportunities and industry promotion.
For additional information on FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FarmFirstDairyCooperative, go to: www.FarmFirstDairyCooperative.com or call: (608) 244-3373.