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NMPF Creates Task Force to Develop CWT Renewal Plan

February 5, 2024

NMPF established in January a team of cooperative leaders and farmers to develop ideas for the next era of Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) after the current membership funding commitment expires at the end of this year.

This task force, chaired by NMPF Treasurer Pete Kappelman of Land O’Lakes, will focus on identifying and advancing strategies that will enable CWT to maximize its positive affect on farmers’ milk checks while growing U.S. dairy exports. Task force members will re-examine CWT’s role in dairy exports and define what’s needed to expand U.S. dairy sales growth overseas without duplicating existing export efforts.

Others on the task force include:

  • Catherine De Ronde, Agri-Mark
  • Tom Beringer and Scott Tomes, Bongards
  • Rob Vandenheuvel, CDI
  • Monty Schilter, Darigold
  • Michael Lichte and Chris Kraft, DFA
  • Darin Hanson, Foremost Farms
  • Mike John, Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association
  • Chris Hoeger, Prairie Farms
  • Ashley Ellixson and Robert Chesler, United Dairymen of Arizona
  • Steve Patience, Tillamook

The task force will share preliminary recommendations with NMPF’s Board later this spring, assembling a series of actions for the program after 2024, with the expectation that individual cooperatives will vote to renew their support of CWT (or join the program if they are not currently contributing) by the end of this year.