Tuesday, March 19th
Member-owners began a full day Tuesday by attending their Area Council and Delegate Meetings. These Area meetings present an opportunity for leaders of each of DFA’s seven Areas to discuss topics of importance with members in smaller group settings. Rick Smith, DFA president and chief executive officer, stopped by each meeting to visit with members and answer their questions. As Annual Meeting officially kicked off, attendees heard from DFA senior staff as well as industry presenters, including Secretary Tom Vilsack, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Dairy Export Council, and Tom Halverson, president and chief executive officer of CoBank.
More than 1,500 farmer-owners, guests and staff were in attendance for this year’s Annual Meeting, which kicked off with Chairman of the Board Randy Mooney, who presented the 2019 Chairman’s report.
President and Chief Executive Officer’s report
President and Chief Executive Officer Rick Smith began his report during Tuesday’s Annual Meeting by thanking members, industry guests and Board members for investing their time to attend the meeting. His report provided an overview of DFA and our financials, industry matters, goals and aspirations for the industry and he touched on dairy’s role in preserving our planet.
The Future Dairy Consumer
Moderated by Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff Monica Massey, this panel outlined consumer trends and highlighted ways DFA’s commercial teams are developing and adapting to meet the needs of today’s consumer. Joining Monica was Donna Berry, owner of Dairy & Food Communications; Rachel Kyllo, senior vice president of growth and innovation for Kemps®; Chris Noble, Northeast Area member from Linwood, N.Y. and a founding member of the Craigs Creamery™ brand; and Eve Pollet, senior vice president of strategic intelligence for Dairy Management Inc.
Thomas Halverson, president and chief executive officer of CoBank, shared his insight on the future of the economy and its impact on agriculture and dairy Tuesday afternoon.
Dairy exports in the global market: an outlook for the future
Secretary Tom Vilsack, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), wrapped up our Tuesday session with a discussion about the importance of being a competitive player in the global market with U.S. dairy exports.