MMPA delegates recently elected Bruce Lewis to serve a three-year term on the MMPA board of directors as a director-at-large. Lewis joins the 12 other dairy farmers on the MMPA board of directors, helping guide the direction of the cooperative and setting strategic goals.
Lewis has been farming since 1984. Today, he operates 3,100 acres and milks 700 cows on Pleasant View Dairy. He is a member of the Hillsdale-Litchfield Local in District 1. He’s been active in MMPA for many years, currently serving as a delegate, a member of the Resolutions Committee and the Hillsdale-Litchfield Local President. Along with being an Outstanding Young Dairy Cooperator (OYDC) in 2005, Bruce and his wife, Jennifer, were named MSU Dairy Farmer of the Year in 2013 and have received numerous other awards in recognition for leadership within the industry.
How has MMPA impacted your farm?
MMPA has always been there for us is the best way to put it. We haven’t had to worry about whether or not the co-op would be there for us and we can count on the milk check.
Why did you want to join the MMPA board of directors?
I have always felt that for any organization that directly impacts our business, there needs to be a willingness to be involved. I just felt the time in my life was right to seek the position and try to give back to our cooperative.
What do you value most about MMPA?
MMPA has consistently been there for us. Through 105 years of history, they’ve been there through pandemics and world wars, continuing to help serve the dairy farmers. Everything that the co-op has been through, they have been able to adapt. Any time a business can stick around over a century, they are doing a lot of things right.
What are your goals and vision while serving on the board of directors?
Right now, it’s still a large learning curve, but as I get up to speed, I have a desire to help move the organization forward, so hopefully it will be in existence in the next 100 years.
What would you tell your fellow members who want to influence the direction of the cooperative?
Be willing to serve if there’s an opportunity to serve. Whether it’s as a delegate or on the Advisory Committee, people need to be willing to be involved. It’s your farm’s co-op, so you need to have willingness to be involved. It is always an amazing adventure when you go to some meetings and gather with farmers around the country and learn that we all have the same types of issues. There is commonality in meeting and finding someone, whether other side of county or other side of country, we’re all in this together.
This article was originally published in the July/August 2020 issue of the Milk Messenger. Subscribe »