MMPA hosts 108th Annual Meeting

NOVI, Mich.— Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) members and guests gathered in Novi, Mich. on March 20 for MMPA’s 108th Annual Meeting. The nearly 200 attendees learned from MMPA leadership and industry partners about how MMPA is evolving and joined in celebrating the partners and members who made the success possible.

During the Annual Meeting, Joe Diglio, MMPA President & CEO, expressed how the cooperative’s momentum and vision for the future will continue to support its members. “We are excited about where we are headed as an organization and we’re doing it on behalf of you: to extract value, tout your message and continue to get the nutritional aspects of what you produce on your farms into the marketplace. This wouldn’t be possible without the many partners who are here today.”

Attendees heard from partners including Michelle McBride, GoodSport Founder & CEO; Omid McDonald, Dairy Distillery Founder & CEO; and Dr. Jayen Mehta, Amul Managing Director. These partnerships enable MMPA to diversify its portfolio and invest in premium products that reach a broader spectrum of consumers.

“We’re making a dent in the sports nutrition world, and because of this partnership with MMPA, we’re going to bring new innovation to life,” GoodSport Founder & CEO, Michelle McBride shared. “With the use of your raw materials and the technology and expertise of Creative Edge, we’re able to work on new products to bring into the marketplace.”

Omid McDonald, Dairy Distillery Founder & CEO, also shared the impact of MMPA’s partnership to construct the lowest-carbon intensity ethanol facility in the world at MMPA’s Constantine, Mich. plant. “The Dairy Distillery project will be one of the dairy industry’s largest decarbonization projects. MMPA’s Constantine, Mich. plant produces around 16,000 tons of permeate annually, which will generate 16,000 tons of carbon reduction a year when turned into ethanol and blended into transportation fuel.”

A new partnership was also announced during the meeting, bringing together MMPA, America’s tenth largest dairy cooperative, with Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (GCMMF), the world’s largest dairy cooperative and owners of the Amul brand. The collaboration will launch the first Amul branded fluid milk products in the U.S., utilizing MMPA member milk, MMPA’s caseless milk packaging design and proprietary fluid milk technology.

“We are very honored and pleased to enter into an association with MMPA, a very respected 108-year-old dairy cooperative. This association will ensure all our American and Indian consumers will be nourished and energized with the goodness of Amul Milk,” Amul Managing Director Dr. Jayen Mehta said. “This is the first time that Amul fresh milk is being launched anywhere outside India. It is our great pleasure to bring the taste of India to the world, in alignment with the vision of our Hon Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi to make Amul a global dairy brand.”

In addition to recognizing partners, the Annual Meeting proceedings involved recognizing the outcome of the cooperative’s member governance changes last year and honoring several MMPA members including MMPA Outstanding Young Dairy Cooperators, MMPA Dairy Communicators Service Award Recipients, members achieving 35 and 50 years of membership, and the MMPA member farm who achieved the best quality milk in 2023 of all MMPA farms, De Grins Oer Dairy of Blanchard, Mich.

“Our cooperative’s strength relies on young farmers who have a future in our organization, our long-time members who provide the stability and wisdom that come with many years in the business, and members who are willing to meet with consumers where they are to promote our industry,” Doug Chapin, MMPA Board Chairman said.

MMPA Treasurer Eric Frahm presented the financial status of the cooperative and reported on a strong balance sheet with annual net savings in fiscal year 2023 of $5.9 million. MMPA recently paid out $1.6 million in cash patronage refunds to its dairy farmer members, representing twenty-five percent of the net savings with the remaining non-cash balance allocated to certificates of equity to be revolved back to members in future years.

In the board reorganizational meeting held at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting, the following officers were reelected: Doug Chapin as board chairman, Tony Jandernoa as board vice chairman and Eric Frahm as treasurer.