Prairie Farms’ Lorilee Schultz Elected to Lead YC Program in 2023

Illinois dairy farmer Lorilee Schultz was elected chairperson of the National Young Cooperators (YC) Program Jan. 17 at the program’s biannual Advisory Council and Coordinators meeting. Schultz, a member-owner of Prairie Farms, Inc., manages Mil-R-Mor Farm, a 60-cow registered Holstein dairy in northern Illinois. Schultz will lead the YC Program and represent its interests to the NMPF Board of Directors in this role throughout 2023.

“We provide consumers with safe, high-quality, affordable and nutritionally dense dairy foods, while also contributing significantly to our local economies and being responsible stewards of our resources,” Schultz said. “There are challenges, but I am confident that dairy farmers—and young dairy farmers in particular—are willing and ready to do what we do best: go to work and tackle them head-on. I’ve been in the trenches on the farm 15 years; now I want to look beyond my own farm and do what I can to help strengthen our industry.”

Schultz has served in leadership roles with several industry and community organizations including the National Holstein Foundation and Midwest Dairy Association, but she credits her four brothers for giving her extensive experience “listening to all sides and bringing out the best ideas.” She enjoys dairy cattle judging and helping her nieces and nephews and the farm employees’ children show at their local dairy shows.

Justin and Hannah Watt, owners of Cedar Knoll Dairy LLC in Keymar, Maryland and members of Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, were elected to serve as vice chairpersons.

Established by NMPF in 1950, the National YC Program provides training and leadership development opportunities to dairy farmers under 45. The program aims to enhance producers’ leadership skills to make them more effective managers and more influential leaders through year-round in-person and virtual programming. Click here and subscribe and receive updates from the YC Program.