Mickey Childers of Somerville, Ala., has been elected chairman of Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.’s (DFA) Southeast Area Council. Glen Easter of Laurens, S.C., was elected first vice chair, and Larry Purdom of Purdy, Mo., was elected second vice chair.

Childers succeeds former Council Chairman Randy Mooney, who stepped down to focus on his responsibilities in his new role as chairman of DFA’s Board of Directors.

“It has been a privilege and honor to represent my fellow dairy farmers as a member of the Southeast Area Council,” said Childers, who milks 700 cows in partnership with his two sons and father-in-law on a fourth-generation dairy farm. “As chairman, I look forward to continuing a tradition of strong leadership for DFA members throughout the Southeast.”

Childers is vice chairman of DFA’s Board of Directors, and serves as chairman of the Board’s Audit Committee. He also serves as president of the American Dairy Association of Alabama and vice president of the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association board of directors.

Easter has been in the dairy business for more than 30 years. In addition to milking 300 Jerseys on 360 acres, he has a 100-cow-calf beef operation. Easter is president of both the Regional United Dairy Herd Improvement Association and the Advisory Committee of the Dairy Records Processing Center in Raleigh. He is a member of the South Carolina Farm Bureau Dairy Committee, American Jersey Cattle Club, National All-Jersey and Dairy Shrine, and is a delegate to Southeast United Dairy Industry Association. He serves on the South Carolina National Animal Identification System Steering Committee. In 2006, he was named Laurens County Agriculturalist of the Year and Laurens County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Quarter.

Purdom and his daughter milk 140 cows, grow corn silage and hay, and raise a small herd of beef cows on 700 acres. He is on the boards of the Missouri Dairy Association and Midwest Dairy Promotion Board. Active in the industry, he is on the National Dairy Board, county Farm Bureau Board and is chairman of the Congressional Agriculture Advisory Committee. He was honored with the FFA American Farmer Degree and as an Honorary Star Farmer. He also has won grand champions and premier breeder and exhibitor awards.

This election process is reflective of DFA’s grassroots structure and commitment to giving members a voice in Cooperative governance. DFA is divided into seven Areas, in which members elect representatives to serve on their governing Area Council. Area Councils monitor the marketing of milk and local issues, and representatives from Area Councils are elected to serve on DFA’s Board of Directors, which is comprised of 51 dairy producers who guide the Cooperative and establish policies and business direction.