MMPA hosts 106th Annual Delegate Meeting, presenting Superior Dairy as part of MMPA manufacturing campus

LANSING, Mich.—Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) delegates gathered in Lansing, Michigan on March 24 to conduct official business during MMPA’s 106th Annual Delegate Meeting. Over 200 attendees, including members and employees, heard from MMPA leadership and industry partners on how MMPA is taking charge of change, this year’s meeting theme.

MMPA board chairman Doug Chapin reflected on the prior year, showcasing how the MMPA board of directors guided the cooperative in line with taking charge of change. “An area where your association has taken charge of change is in the purchase of Superior Dairy on December 31, 2021,” he said. “It was the culmination of years of working together and every time we met it was to discuss how we could win by working together.”

Joe Diglio, MMPA president and CEO, expanded on the acquisition of Superior Dairy in Canton, Ohio, describing how taking charge of change begins with aligning in a vision. “It isn’t just one person’s strategy that makes us successful, it’s a team of people that believe in the direction and help accomplish our desired outcome,” he said. “We are excited about our opportunities in front of us and look forward to taking charge of change together.”

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 2021 of $4.3 million. MMPA recently paid out $1.1 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.

Business conducted by the delegates included the adoption of the 2021 MMPA resolutions and election of MMPA member Bruce Benthem of McBain, Mich. to his first at-large term on the board of directors and the reelection of Aaron Gasper of Lowell, Mich. to the board of directors. Both Benthem and Gasper will serve three-year terms on the board of directors.

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

The annual meeting proceedings also involved recognition of several MMPA members including Kip and Rochelle Siegler of Imlay City, Mich. as the 2021 Outstanding Young Dairy Cooperators (OYDC), Nolan Wieber, of Fowler, Mich. as the OYDC Runner-up and all the 2021 OYDC finalists. Koppenol Dairy Farms were also recognized as MMPA’s Top Quality Award Winner. They achieved the best quality records in 2021 among all MMPA farms. Along with a plaque from MMPA, the Koppenols received a $250 gift certificate for the MMPA Farm Supply Store from Ecolab.

Chapin recognized 16 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. MMPA also recognized members with over 50 years of MMPA membership with the MMPA Milestone Award. Five individuals were recognized with this award and were presented with a plaque at the meeting.

The Michigan Milk Producers Association–established in 1916–is a member-owned and operated milk marketing cooperative and dairy processor serving dairy farmers throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. In addition to a cheese plant in Indiana and a dairy product plant in Ohio, MMPA operates two SQF Level 3 dairy ingredient plants in Michigan, producing butter, nonfat dry milk powder, condensed skim milk, cream and whole milk powder.