MMPA 99th Annual Meeting

NOVI, Mich.– The 99th Annual Delegate Meeting of the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) was held on March 19 at the Lansing Center in Lansing, Mich. Business conducted by the delegates included the reelection of mark Halbert, of Battle Creek, Mich., to an at-large position on the board of directors and adoption of the 2015 MMPA resolutions.

MMPA President Ken Nobis emphasized the cooperative’s commitment to processing the growing member milk supply, saying, “Our members have invested nearly $100 million in the last five years in dairy processing that has brought increased capacity to our plants, added value to our members’ milk and created jobs for the community. However, we are not finished with expansion as we move forward into 2015 because we see continued production growth by our members and growing global markets.”

General Manager Joe Diglio discussed changes taking place in the industry and cooperative. He stressed the importance of working together with other cooperatives and MMPA customers to manage the region’s large milk production growth and declining milk prices. “Prices have and will continue to retract from all time highs that we just experienced and we must prepare for that. I believe cooperatives can and will work through the challenges that we face today to develop a more unified approach in handling market conditions as they evolve,” Diglio said.

Diglio commented on the steps taken over the last year to address the growth in milk production, citing the installation of the reverse osmosis (RO) system at the MMPA Constantine Plant in partnership with Foremost Farms USA and the recently completed butter churn at the Ovid plant. “The RO system is a great example of how resources can come together and be successful when working collaboratively for the benefit of member-owners,” Diglio said.

Also in attendance at the meeting, National Milk Producers Federation Vice President of Economic Policy and Market Research Peter Vitaliano relayed the 2015 price outlook.

“Looking at the futures market, as well as projections for milk production, exports and domestic consumption, 2015 isn’t going to be anywhere close to the record milk prices of 2014. But it’s also not going to be anywhere near as disastrous as 2009. Right now, it looks like dairy producer margins will be somewhat better than they averaged during 2011-2013. The outlook will definitely improve when the major dairy-importing countries around the world return to their normal levels of buying dairy products on the world market, which most analysts expect to happen later this year,” he said.

MMPA Treasurer Mark Halbert presented the financial status of the cooperative, reporting a net savings in fiscal year 2014 of $6 million. Halbert also illustrated the strength of MMPA in the marketplace and the amount of dollars returned to members over the past year in the form of premium payments.

Nobis recognized 58 individuals holding MMPA membership for 35 years. He honored these individuals for their commitment and hard work to the dairy industry and MMPA. Each 35-year member was presented with a plaque.

The 2014 District Outstanding Young Dairy Cooperators (OYDC) were also honored at the meeting, including Brian and Carrie Preston, of Quincy, who were officially recognized as MMPA’s 2014 OYDC.

Dean Letter, Member Services Department director, and Frank Brazeau, member representative, presented Jacob and Elaine Jahfetson and family of Baraga, Mich. with the highest quality milk production award. The Jahfetsons achieved the best quality records in 2014 and 2013 among MMPA’s over 1,200 farms.

Michigan Milk Producers Association is a member owned and controlled milk marketing cooperative serving over 2,000 dairy farmers in Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and Ohio.