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NMPF Celebrates Dairy’s Gains in Return to In-Person Annual Meeting

December 6, 2021

NMPF Chairman Randy Mooney and President and CEO Jim Mulhern touted dairy’s gains in 2021 at NMPF’s joint annual meeting Nov. 15-17, as record exports and per-capita U.S. consumption at a more than 60-year high point to a bright future for the industry.

“The past 20-plus months have shown us that life can change quickly, and in ways beyond our control,” said Mooney, a dairy farmer from Rogersville, Missouri, in remarks before dairy farmer-leaders from NMPF’s 24 member cooperatives. “It’s also shown that when that happens, people turn to what they know and trust. They turn to dairy.”

NMPF joined with the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board and the United Dairy Industry Association in the theme of “Make Every Drop Count,” with more than 600 registrants returning to an in-person gathering this year.

NMPF President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Mulhern highlighted NMPF’s work for its members in his remarks, including leading policy efforts that brought more than $6 billion in federal aid to dairy farmers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as regulatory initiatives and advances in trade.

“We are ‘The Voice of Dairy Farmers in Our Nation’s Capital,’ and we take that mission very seriously. And through our experience over the past year and a half, I know we are well-positioned to meet the many challenges that lie ahead,” Mulhern said. “When we are strategic, patient, and act with intelligence, and realistic expectations, we can meet our challenges.”

Deputy Agriculture Secretary Jewel Bronaugh also spoke to the meeting via video, highlighting dairy’s leadership in climate-smart agriculture initiatives and environmental stewardship.

“It is inspiring to see the dairy industry as leaders in advancing solutions to the challenges we face in agriculture through inclusive, accessible innovation technology and approaches,” she said. “You are leading the way as United States dairy embraces a 2050 Net Zero Initiative to help dairy farms of all geographies and sizes continue to implement new technologies and adopt economically viable practices in feed production, animal care, energy efficiency and manure management.”

Also providing remarks via video were Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee; Rep. G.T. Thompson, R-PA, ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee; and Sen. Mike Crapo, R-ID.

NMPF also held governance meetings and revived its annual, nationally recognized cheese contest – successfully conducted virtually last year – as an in-person celebration. Results here.

Mooney was reelected Chair of the organization, and Dave Scheevel of Foremost Farms was reelected Treasurer.  New Board officers including Simon Vander Woude of California Dairies, Inc., First Vice Chair; Cricket Jacquier of Agri-Mark, Second Vice Chair; and Jay Bryant of Maryland-Virginia Milk Producers, Secretary.

Those five officers are joined by ten others elected this week to NMPF’s Executive Committee:

Steve Schlangen, Associated Milk Producers, Inc.; Rob Vandenheuvel, California Dairies, Inc.; Melvin Medeiros, Dairy Farmers of America; Dennis Rodenbaugh, Dairy Farmers of America; Pete Kappelman, Land O’Lakes; Doug Chapin, Michigan Milk Producers Assn.; Allan Huttema, Northwest Dairy Association; Tony Graves, Prairie Farms Dairy; Craig Caballero, United Dairymen of Arizona; and Jimmy Kerr, Cooperative Milk Producers.

New directors elected to the Board of Directors by NMPF delegates  include:

  • Neil Zwart – California Dairies, Inc.
  • Travis Fogler – Dairy Farmers of America
  • Ed Gallagher – Dairy Farmers of America
  • Karen Jordan – Dairy Farmers of America
  • Melvin Medeiros – Dairy Farmers of America
  • Perry Tjaarda – Dairy Farmers of America
  • Greg Schlafer – Foremost Farms
  • Duane Hershey – Land O’Lakes
  • Doug Chapin – Michigan Milk Producers Assoc.
  • Tony Freeman – Northwest Dairy Association
  • Joe Jenck – Tillamook County Creamery Assoc.
  • Craig Caballero – United Dairymen of Arizona

NMPF also recognized two retiring board members, Greg Wickham of Dairy Farmers of America and Ken Nobis of Michigan Milk Producers Association, as Honorary Directors for Life.

NMPF also held its annual Young Cooperators gathering in conjunction with the annual meeting.