Dairy – It’s a Small, Small World

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This past week, dairy farmers from the state of Washington had the opportunity to gather for a few days at the amazing Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Washington.  The main goal of this meeting is to gather representatives from the Washington State Dairy Federation, Washington State Dairy Women, and the Washington State Dairy Products Commission and present information to attendees about issues facing the dairy industry in the Pacific Northwest.  Topics included Lagoons – All you ever want to know about a lagoon, Animal Identification – Where are we now, Global Markets – What is happening with dairy products in the global market, and many other topics relevant to dairy production.

Every year, this meeting presents a great opportunity to visit with old friends, learn about new and innovative products for our farms from various exhibitors, and enjoy a little break from the farm.  Suncadia Resort was an amazing host for the 2012 meeting.  From the beautiful lodge, comfortable rooms, attentive staff, and delicious meals, I recommend any organization looking for a great location for a meeting in the state of Washington please consider Suncadia Resort.

Suncadia Resort
Cle Elum, Washington

As I look back on my time at the annual meeting, I am so grateful I was able to rekindle friendships, catch up on legislative issues facing the dairy industry, and watch the 2012 Washington State Dairy Ambassador give her school presentation.  While my name was not drawn for any of the amazing door prizes and unfortunately I was outbid during the Washington State Dairy Women’s Scholarship auction, there is always next year.  Next year the meeting will be at The Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Washington.

NMPF and What it means to Dairy Farmers

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The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), established in 1916 and based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies.

NMPF provides a forum through which dairy farmers and their cooperatives formulate policy on national issues that affect milk production and marketing. NMPF’s contribution to this policy is aimed at improving the economic interests of dairy farmers, thus assuring the nation’s consumers an adequate supply of pure, wholesome, and nutritious milk and dairy products.

The policies of NMPF are determined by its members from across the nation. Therefore, the policy positions expressed by NMPF are the only nationwide expression of dairy farmers and their cooperatives on national public policy.

2012 YC Council in Orlando

National Milk Producers Federation members and staff organized the National Young Cooperator (YC) Program in 1950. The purpose of the YC program was, and still is, to educate and build leadership ability in young dairy farmers. In order to develop this leadership, YCs must first gain a better understanding of the needs and problems facing milk marketing cooperatives. The result is educated, articulate young people who will provide the future direction for the dairy industry.

NMPF member cooperatives are responsible for selecting the YCs who will serve as their representatives on the YC Advisory Council. Each cooperative has its own way of choosing YCs for the council, just like they do for YCs who participate in the national YC program. Members of the council provide the leadership behind NMPF’s YC program. At the national level, they have three principle duties:

  1. Attend a planning meeting the summer after the council’s election to provide views on YC programming material for the upcoming NMPF Annual Meeting.
  2. Develop and oversee the YC program at the next NMPF Annual Meeting. This includes conducting registration, chairing sessions, introducing speakers, and other duties as required.
  3. Execute assignments as requested by the NMPF YC program coordinator

    Our conclusion as the 2012 YC Chaircouple

    We enjoyed all the opportunities that were offered to us as National YC Chaircouple. We have met some incredible people who work on behalf of dairy farmers every day.  From the Farm Bill, USFRA, or drought relief, there is someone at NMPF who is working very hard to find the best resolution for the dairy farmer.  Thank you NMPF for this amazing opportunity, we enjoyed every moment!!


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As we begin the month of November, many take time to be thankful for the gifts they have in their lives.  Our family just returned from the trip of a lifetime.  We had the honor of serving as the NMPF National YC Chaircouple for the 2011-2012 year.  Part of that position allowed us to travel to Orlando, Florida for the annual meeting of the dairy industry.  Since we were flying all that way, we decided to take our kids, my parents, Lonny’s parents, Lonny’s sister,niece, nephew, and brother and his girlfriend.  Basically we asked the entire family to travel with us and enjoy all the fun of Disney World while we attended meetings.  What a trip!!

What an amazing trip.  Our entire family was able to enjoy all the incredible rides and shows at all 4 Disney World parks.  We even managed to squeeze in a “down” day and swim and BBQ at one of the hotels in the area.  If you ask any one of us, we all have a favorite ride or memory.  But what we all have in common is we enjoyed our time together.  We all live in different regions of the United States, but for 1 amazing week we created memories together that will last a lifetime.  I will be forever thankful.

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