The dairy farmer-owners of Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) will gather, March 23-24, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington, Minn. Nearly 400 people, including AMPI elected representatives from six Upper Midwest states and industry leaders, are expected for the milk marketing cooperative’s annual business review.

Record dairy markets, milk production increases and rising foodservice sector sales are among the cooperative’s 2014 performance highlights.

During the annual business meeting on March 24, AMPI board chairman Steve Schlangen, a dairy farmer from Albany, Minn., will address the role the cooperative is playing to ensure a solid market for its members' milk. Donn DeVelder and Sheryl Meshke, AMPI’s newly appointed co-presidents and CEOs, will then detail the cooperative’s long-range plans.

During the opening program, attendees will hear from Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel, who operated his family dairy for 22 years prior to entering public service. Agricultural economist Michael Swanson will analyze the global dairy marketplace and its impact on AMPI dairy farmer-owners. Veterinarian Lance Fox closes the afternoon agenda with an inspirational story about his adventure climbing Mt. Everest.

AMPI delegates will vote to determine the cooperative's position on issues and policies. The deliberations are the culmination of the cooperative’s grassroots policy-making process.

AMPI Young Cooperators — members under the age of 40 — will also gather at the annual meeting. They are participating in a co-op education and leadership development program, which provides an opportunity for members to learn more about the milk marketing business they own, while networking and socializing with fellow young dairy farmers.

About AMPI: AMPI is headquartered in New Ulm, Minn., and owned by 2,500 Midwest dairy farm families from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. AMPI members annually market about 5.8 billion pounds of milk, resulting in $2.2 billion in sales for the cooperative. AMPI owns 10 manufacturing plants and markets cheese, butter and powdered dairy products, serving foodservice, retail and food ingredient customers. Visit http://www.ampi.com.