Member Involvement

From its beginnings in 1916, MMPA has relied on grassroots member support to lead the association. Today, MMPA fosters member involvement and leadership from the youth level all the way up to the board of directors.

MMPA prides itself on the dedicated and involved members who own the cooperative.

MMPA is a cooperative democratically controlled by member-owners. MMPA’s governance structure includes subdivisions of the membership into Districts based upon members’ geographic area. All members are invited to attend their district’s meeting, typically held in December, to conduct cooperative business.

Member Relations

Cooperative Leadership Positions

The first place to get involved in MMPA is by attending your District meeting. District meetings typically take place in December and include an update from MMPA leadership, your District board member, District elections and opportunities to connect with fellow members in your area.

Young Cooperator Program

Since 1950, MMPA has been identifying future leaders through the Young Cooperator and Outstanding Young Dairy Cooperator (OYDC) program. The program includes the OYDC award program and programming for all younger members, called Young Cooperators. While OYDCs go through a selection and nomination process, ALL members and member employees aged 40 and under are automatically considered Young Cooperators.

Dairy Communicator Network

The MMPA Dairy Communicator program is an ongoing effort of members to promote dairy in their local communities across the Great Lakes region. Dairy Communicators are involved in a wide variety of promotion activities including farm tours, school visits and social media.

Photo Contest

MMPA hosts an annual photo contest showcasing MMPA member’s view of stunning landscapes across the Great Lakes region. Members have the unique opportunity to capture beautiful scenes like the morning fog rolling across corn fields, a newborn calf’s big eyes taking in new wonders of the world or memorable moments of farmers caring for their cows.


MMPA offers scholarships to members, children of members and employees of members at Michigan State University, Purdue University and The Ohio State University. MMPA also supports the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation, Michigan Dairy Ambassador and Leadership Program and the Michigan Youth Livestock Scholarship Fund.

Advocacy and Government Relations

MMPA works closely with state and national partners, like the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), to advocate and represent dairy on Capitol Hill. MMPA also maintains our own contacts to Member of Congress, USDA and even the White House to communicate and advocate for our industry. MMPA members are also encouraged to join the member Legislative Group to have the opportunity to participate in legislative briefings and receive legislative updates.

Complementary “Daisy the Cow” Rentals

Towering over 10 feet tall, Daisy the MMPA Cow is the one-of-a-kind mascot of MMPA dairy farmers and the dairy industry and can be found at fairs, festivals and events all across the Great Lakes region. MMPA members can rent Daisy for their own promotion events and efforts.

Member Communication

To keep members informed, MMPA publishes a variety of member communication materials, including a bi-monthly magazine (Milk Messenger), a monthly newsletter (Member Connection) and weekly email (e-news). Members are also encouraged to attend member meetings, get involved with the cooperative or reach out to their District board member with questions.

CORE Program

MMPA members are leaders in their communities and their farms. The CORE program strives to benefit member leaders by providing opportunities to deepen their understanding of their cooperative, learn the complexities of milk marketing, strengthen relationships with peers, industry partners and MMPA leadership, and discover cooperative programs and services to advance their farms.

Fostering the next generation of dairy leaders

MMPA invests in the next generation of dairy farmers and leaders through member and youth programming. For young dairy farmers, MMPA’s Outstanding Young Dairy Cooperator (OYDC) program provides leadership development and education. The program involves an annual Young Cooperator event and annual award program for OYDC finalists.

Ramona Okkema in front of her herd.

Interested in becoming a member?

MMPA’s dedicated field staff provide services and programs that equip MMPA members with leading management and production information.