A final look at the first 100 years of MMPA

Throughout 2016, MMPA has reflected on the beginning days, turbulent years and successes of the cooperative’s first century. First founded on May 23, 1916 at Michigan State University’s predecessor, Michigan Agricultural College, MMPA is one century strong as a farmer owned cooperative.

Celebrations in 2016 included publishing a history book, video series and the 12 features in the cooperative’s publication, the Michigan Milk Messenger. The features, written by Melissa Hart, are listed below.


100 Years of Integrity, Dedication and Commitment

January 2016

One hundred years.  A century. Transforming from one millennium to the next. This time span can encompass several generations and engulf iconic changes in a civilization. From 1916 to 2016 that’s exactly what happened.  Generations passed, a new century was turned and changes in the landscape of the dairy industry went from slow and steady […]


From Farm to Table in 100 Years

February 2016

Milk trucks are a fixture on the dirt roads and highways across the nation carrying a valuable, yet perishable product for farmers and consumers alike. Milk haulers are the link from the cow that produces that white, power packed nutritional punch to the consumer who enjoys it. Milk quality is unsurpassable in today’s market but […]


And They Continued to Show Up…for 100 Years

March 2016

It was 1919 and the third largest industry in the United States was dairy and the newly formed Michigan Milk Producers Association was getting ready for their third annual meeting to be held in East Lansing at the Michigan Agricultural College. The announcement of the meeting began with this: “Our vision of the battle […]


The Evolving Role of the Diva on the Dirt Road

April 2016

Women have been influential from the beginning of time.  Eve influenced Adam to take a bite of the forbidden fruit and the world as they knew it was turned upside down. Just as the diversification of women’s roles have evolved through history, the farm wife has woven her way into every level of leadership in the […]


Adversity Builds Character: The Fair Share Days

May 2016

“I hate it when a farmer says, ‘I’m just a farmer.’ This farmer doesn’t realize what he does for America, what he does for the economy and what he does for his family.  Farmers are very important. Where would we be without them?”– Former Senator Bob Dole. Just a group of farmers in Livingston County […]


From “Butter Bees” to “Milk Life!”

June 2016

Before “Got Milk?” Before “Three-A-Day.”  Before “Milk Life!” Before bumper stickers touting milk drinkers are better lovers and before influential athletes and Hollywood stars donned milk mustaches. Before June was declared Dairy month, milk promotion in Michigan was birthed out of a nutritional need and more profit potential through the Dairy Council in the […]


The Birth of the MMPA 4-H Milk Marketing Tour

July 2016

In 1935, a select group of young men were chosen for the first time, to wake up early, hitch a ride on a milk route and follow the milk as it went from the farm to the consumer learning how milk was marketed. Coordinated between Michigan 4-H and MMPA, this was the birth of the […]


100 Years in Three Words

August 2016

Walt Wosje and Elwood Kirkpatrick lead the way to cheese making with a partnership with Leprino Foods. Several leaders, past and present, were asked to offer three characteristics that describe MMPA and here’s what they said: “Integrity, stability and honesty.”- Deanna Stamp, retired board director. “Trust, transparency, dedication.” – Ken Nobis, board president. “Progressive, financially […]


Building Cooperative Longevity

September 2016

Centennial farms are scattered around the state and are prominently marked with green signs indicating the same family has been on that farm for at least 100 years. Greenstone Farm Credit Services is marking their 100th anniversary this year as they were established on July 17, 2016, when President Wilson signed the Federal Farm Loan […]


OYDC: Producing Leadership for Generations

October 2016

The 1964 Outstanding Young Dairy Couple, Harold and Lillian Gremel, with their three children Walter, Cathy and Marie. In 1950, MMPA realized the importance of shining the spotlight on a farm family who was progressive in their management practices, above average in their leadership skills and were pillars of their community. And so began the […]


The Road Less Traveled Forged by Great Leaders

November 2016

Maintaining a business for 100 years requires remarkable leadership and belief in the company. MMPA managed to have both, stacking decades on top of decades of business through leadership that pioneered the dairy industry from one century to another. MMPA began leading the dairy industry by simply existing. Forming the cooperative was the first step […]


Six Farmers, Six Leaders, 100 Years

December 2016

They traded in their t-shirts for a suit and tie. They took off their favorite hat revealing their white foreheads and hard work and used their brains for making marketing decisions. They slipped off their boots, put on their wingtips and headed to Lansing and Washington D.C. on behalf of their peers, sacrificing family time, […]