Young Cooperators Advisory Council Elects Agri-Mark’s Lavigne Chair

The National Young Cooperators (YC) Program Advisory Council elected Valerie Lavigne, a New York dairy farmer and Agri-Mark member, Chairperson for the 2022 program year. In this role, Lavigne will guide the program and represent its interests to the NMPF Board of Directors.

“I am honored to serve as chairperson of the National YC Program and I look forward to leading this program into its 72nd year,” Lavigne said. “The challenges ahead are significant, and I am proud to represent the unique needs of beginning farmers as they seek to establish themselves and grow within the dairy industry.”

In addition to her participation on the YC Advisory Council, Lavigne is part of NMPF’s Dairy Voice Network and serves as an officer for Agri-Mark’s YC Program. Lavigne’s Unc Brock Farm thrives on diversity with a productive mix of turkeys, meat chickens and laying hens, milking goats, horses and a 200-cow dairy herd. The farm also manages two food trucks and a catering business in Schaghticoke, New York.

Wisconsin dairy farmer Dustin Brunn, a Dairy Farmers of America member, was elected Vice Chairperson. The remainder of the 2022 YC Advisory Council includes:

  • Sid and Kristin Huls, Prairie Farms
  • Jaime Mowry and Matt Harrigan, Upstate Niagara Cooperative
  • Spencer Hurlimann, Tillamook County Creamery Association
  • Kameron Paschel, Dairy Farmers of America
  • Kip and Rochelle Siegler, Michigan Milk Producers Association
  • Ben Smith, Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association
  • Jason and Tiffany Staehely, Northwest Dairy Association
  • Brittany Thurlow, Southeast Milk Inc.

The 2022 YC Advisory Council convened Jan. 25 for a virtual cheese tasting and 2022 planning meeting. The program will continue to offer free monthly webinars and plans to meet in-person throughout 2022 for its Dairy Policy and Legislative Forum, World Dairy Expo seminar and reception, and Leadership & Development Program.