More than 1,500 Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) members and guests gathered this week in Kansas City for the Cooperative’s 18th Annual Meeting.
Dairy Re-imagined was this year’s theme, and attendees were encouraged to join the Cooperative in challenging the status quo and turn their focus to the limitless possibilities available to the industry in all areas, from the farmer’s gate to the dairy case.
“By reimagining dairy, we can create opportunities for the next generation of our dairy farmer-owners, and for consumers,” said Randy Mooney, chairman of DFA’s Board of Directors. “As a Cooperative, we must continue to focus on providing high-quality nutritious milk for consumers, while also thinking differently about how we do things in order to develop, produce and market products that are relevant to today’s ever-changing lifestyles.”
DFA President and Chief Executive Officer Rick Smith gave an overview of DFA’s business during the event. He also provided insight on ways to strengthen the Cooperative’s core milk marketing business while continuing to grow its commercial business.
“As a member-focused cooperative owned by dairy farmers, we are always working to strengthen and evolve our business so that we can continue to provide value to members,” said Smith. “We do this by seeking out new opportunities, focusing on innovation, and making decisions today for the cooperative we want to be in the future.”
Special guests and additional highlights of the meeting program included an outlook on the U.S. and global economy from Bob Engel, Chief Executive Officer of CoBank, a presentation on sparking innovation by Christine Cashen, motivational speaker, author and America’s “top humorist,” an update from the National Milk Producers Federation’s (NMPF) President and CEO, Jim Mulheron, and an overview of dairy promotion activities by Tom Gallagher, CEO of Dairy Management Inc.
Winners of the 2016 DFA Cares Foundation Scholarship were announced at the banquet. This year, 40 outstanding students pursuing a career in the dairy industry were recognized with a combined total of $49,500 in scholarships toward their undergraduate and graduate level studies.
Annual Meeting concluded on Wednesday with the resolutions process, which brought together more than 250 elected delegates from across the nation to vote on a slate of issues that guide the policy position and business activities of DFA for the coming year.