Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative celebrated their 90th year of operation with record earnings of $14.5 million and reaffirmed the cooperative’s mission to maximize returns to members.

CEO Jay Bryant announced the year-end results at the cooperative’s Annual Meeting held at Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center in Ellicott City, Md. on Friday March 26 and continued on Tuesday March 30 at the Asheville Renaissance Hotel in Asheville, N.C.

“From an operations perspective, we could not have asked for a better year,” said Bryant. He attributed the cooperative’s record financial performance to a continued focus on efficiencies and reducing costs at all operations from the cooperative’s Reston, Va.-based headquarters to the fluid and manufacturing divisions.

“We are sensitive to the fact that our members faced a much different set of economics last year,” said Bryant. “Survival was their number one priority and we knew we had to perform; we had to do more with less to maximize profits and provide our members with an increased level of support.”

The management team, under direction from the Board, concentrated on fulfilling the cooperative’s mission to maximize member returns.

Maryland & Virginia’s $14.5 million in earnings for 2009 is based on marketings of nearly three billion pounds of member milk.  Overall the cooperative reduced its debt by $4.6 million and increased member equity by more than $10 million.

“I know that 2009 stretched us dairy farmers to the limit, practically to the breaking point,” said President Dwayne Myers of Jonesville, N.C. in his officer’s report.

“Those of us who chose to keep on milking have come through with a new appreciation for what it takes to be resilient. I want to reassure you that Maryland & Virginia, your cooperative, is 100 percent behind you and supporting you, the dairy farmer, however we can.”

Myers focused his remarks on the following five key components of Maryland & Virginia’s core values:

  1. We are responsible to the membership.
  2. We are financially sound.
  3. We have a profitable strategy.
  4. We are prepared to handle change.
  5. We are national leaders.

“There’s nothing that can take away the sting of 2009,” said Myers in his closing remarks.  “However, we are optimistic and focused on the future and on how we can make the U.S. dairy industry viable long-term for our members.

During the executive session of the business meeting, the membership elected the following member-owners to the board of directors:

  • Richard Mosemann, Warfordsburg, Pa.
  • Ray Thrush, Shippensburg, Pa.
  • Garvin Schaffer, Dornsife, Pa.
  • Edwin Fry, Chestertown, Md.
  • Monk Sanford, Orange, Va.
  • Dwayne Myers, Elkin, N.C.

Source: Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative