Young Cooperators Convene for Virtual Dairy Policy and Legislative Forum

The National Young Cooperators (YC) Program hosted a half-day virtual Dairy Policy and Legislative Forum June 15. The capstone event, typically held in person in conjunction with NMPF’s June Board of Directors meeting, attracted nearly 100 attendees from 14 member cooperatives.

U.S. Representative David Valadao (R-CA) was the keynote speaker for the event, discussing leadership, policy and how his background in dairy inspired his interest in public service. NMPF staff experts contributed to the event and provided an overview of the role of dairy farmers in the policymaking process, updates on dairy policy issues and tips for how to be an effective dairy advocate. In a panel discussion, cooperative leaders and NMPF Board members Jackie Klippenstein of Dairy Farmers of America, Rob Vandenheuvel of California Dairies Inc. and Ken Nobis of Michigan Milk Producers Association shared their perspectives on the importance of dairy farmer leadership in policy discussions.

Now in its 71st year, the National YC Program was created to provide up-and-coming leaders in the dairy industry with a better understanding of issues facing farmers and milk marketing cooperatives. The program’s goal is to educate and build leadership abilities in the next generation of dairy farmers. The virtual event was sponsored by Farm Credit.

The National YC Program will continue to offer monthly, 45-minute virtual webinars covering a variety of dairy policy topics throughout the summer. Employees and owners of dairy farms that are members of an NMPF member cooperative and under the age of 45, as well as co-op staff, are invited to participate.