National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern highlighted the resilience of U.S. dairy farmers in a challenging economic and policy environment, pledging that dairy would speak with one voice on crucial issues in remarks at NMPF’s joint annual meeting with the United Dairy Industry Association and the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board.
“Resilience against hardship has always been a fact of life in dairy,” Mulhern said. “We know that if we embrace change while holding true to our values, we will win.”
NMPF’s portion of the conference was highlighted by bylaws changes that bolster its position as the premier organization for U.S. dairy farmers. The biggest U.S. dairy-farmer group also honored longtime leaders who have helped build today’s industry.
At its annual meeting in New Orleans, the organization added the chairman of its Small Cooperative Caucus, Jimmy Kerr of Cooperative Milk Producers Association based in Blackstone, Virginia, to its now 15-member Executive Committee, ensuring that cooperatives of all sizes have a voice in the organization’s thought-leadership body. The Executive Committee, that was formed earlier this year, enhances the geographic and size diversity the organization needs in its governance structure.
“NMPF represents a broader range of dairy farmers and interests than any other industry organization,” Mulhern said. “Committing to diverse leadership makes our united voice is the strongest it can be. Brighter times lie ahead for dairy, and we are ready to advance in a wide range of areas that serve all of our members.”
The meeting, NMPF’s main policy conference of the year, featured discussions of the state of the dairy industry and economy, with remarks from the organization’s chairman, Missouri dairy farmer Randy Mooney
, and presentations from NMPF staff on issues ranging from immigration to the fight against inappropriate labeling of plant-based products. It also named new members to its Board of Directors, including:
- James Jacquier, Agri-Mark Inc.
- Harold Howrigan, Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.
- David Kyle, Foremost Farms USA
- Joey Fernandes, Land O’Lakes
- Sonia Fabian, Lone Star Milk Producers.
NMPF also recognized four dairy leaders with “Honorary Director for Life” designations for their service to NMPF and the broader dairy community:
- Adrian Boer, Northwest Dairy Association
- Cornell Kasbergen, Land O’Lakes
- Neal Rea, Agri-Mark
- George Rohrer, Dairy Farmers of America.