Members of Family Dairies USA, Manitowoc Milk Producers Cooperative and Milwaukee Cooperative Milk Producers successfully voted to merge the three cooperatives, creating the largest dairy marketing cooperative in the Midwest. The new, combined cooperative, known as FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, will begin business function as a unified entity on Jan. 1, 2013.
Votes on the historic merger were counted today during a pair of special meetings at the Holiday Inn in Stevens Point, Wis. and the Milwaukee Cooperative Milk Producers office in Brookfield, Wis. The membership vote follows a unanimous board vote to recommend the unified merger for the membership and several information-sharing opportunities this fall.
Under FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, the combined member representation will be divided into a total of nine districts, based on membership within each district. The current directors from each of the three cooperatives will transition into the new organization, helping ensure consistency in leadership and membership voice. Dennis Donohue will assume the role of general manager of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative. David Cooper and Jim Bird will assume the roles of assistant general manager and director of lab services and special projects, respectively.
Family Dairies USA Milk Program and the Fox Valley Quality Control Laboratory will continue to operate as subsidiaries of the new cooperative.