Dairy producers should make plans now to attend the June 17 Oklahoma Dairy Producers Association meeting taking place on Oklahoma State University’s Stillwater campus.

OSU Dairy Manager David Jones said the association has been formed to provide proactive support in enhancing and promoting the industry.

“This is an important step in revitalizing our state’s dairy industry, and will help improve educational opportunities for producers and dairy managers by working closely with organizations such as Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources,” he said.

There is no cost to attend. Dairy Max, Southwest Dairy Farmers and the Oklahoma Beef Council have provided key financial and influential support in making possible what OSU officials and the state dairy industry hope will become an annual event in Stillwater.

The June 17 meeting will take place at the OSU Animal Science Arena, located just west of the intersection of McElroy Road and Western Road, northwest of the main campus.

“We’ll kick off the day’s activities with a dairy judging contest at 10 a.m., which should be fun for all ages,” Jones said. “A sponsored lunch will be provided to meeting participants at noon, after which our featured speaker, Calvin Covington, will provide insights about marketing milk and then take questions from the audience.”

Covington has long been an industry leader in milk pricing and marketing. He worked for the American Jersey Cattle Association for 23 years, starting out as a field representative and working his way up to the leadership position of executive secretary and chief operating officer.

“He was a driving force in the movement to change the national milk pricing system from a heavy emphasis on fluid to the value of fat and protein components, which is what is used today,” Jones said.

Covington became the CEO of Southeast Milk Cooperative in 2000, serving for 10 years and receiving the “Guest of Honor” award from the National Dairy Shrine in 2010. Now retired, Covington has returned to live on and manage his fourth-generation family farm in North Carolina.

Oklahoma Dairy Producers Association President Steve Koehn said the organization hopes to strengthen the state industry and provide a unified voice for dairy producers.

“Recent rains have many of our dairy producers optimistic about what lies ahead,” Koehn said, “and they should be just as pleased about how the association has been organized, has received support from the dairy industry and is now represented weekly at meetings with the Oklahoma secretary of agriculture.”

Anyone seeking additional information about the June 17 meeting should contact Jones at 405-880-5194.