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LANSING, MI -- The 101st Annual State Delegate Meeting of the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) was held on March 23 at the Lansing Center in Lansing, Michigan.

Ken Nobis, MMPA president, presented The Kroger Co. of Michigan with an inaugural Valued Partner Award and announced the donation of 150 gallons of milk per day for an entire year to the Food Bank Council of Michigan. The donation recognizes the 50th anniversary of Kroger’s Michigan Dairy plant in Livonia, Michigan and builds off last year’s donation in recognition of MMPA’s 100th anniversary.

Nobis also addressed the approximately 450 attendees with his speech covering the current issues facing the dairy industry following two “volatile” years.

“One thing is stable in our dairy world, and that is our co-op, Michigan Milk Producers Association.  Your co-op is financially strong.  Your board of directors is made up of 13 dedicated dairy farmers who are feeling the same anxiety that you feel and are always searching high and low for answers that will help us all,” he reassured members.

MMPA General Manager Joe Diglio demonstrated the co-op’s value proposition, offering encouragement to members about the vision and actions of MMPA. “The dairy industry has always been subjected to volatility and unpredictability, however it is how we deal with them that will define us and how we move towards our vision. We have strong connections and brand loyalty that positions us well for the future,” Diglio explained. “We cannot rest on our previous successes alone, we must continue to share our message with others and provide our customers with a safe reliable food source that makes them successful as well.”

MMPA Treasurer Eric Frahm presented the financial status of the cooperative, reporting a net savings in fiscal year 2016 of $6 million.

Business conducted by the delegates included the adoption of the 2017 MMPA resolutions and election of Mark Iciek of Gladwin and Kris Wardin of St. Johns to the board of directors in three-year, at-large positions.

Nobis recognized 11 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. Twelve individuals were recognized with this award and were presented with a plaque at the meeting.

MMPA Board Member Corby Werth introduced the 2016 Top 10 Outstanding Young Dairy Cooperators (OYDC) at the meeting, including Darrin and Barbara Siemen, of Harbor Beach, Michigan, who were officially recognized as MMPA’s 2016 OYDC.

Dean Letter, director of member services, and Joe Packard, member representative, presented Koppenol Dairy Farm of Coopersville, Michigan with the highest quality milk production award. The Koppenols achieved the best quality records in 2016 among MMPA’s 1,200 farms. Along with a plaque from MMPA, the Koppenols received a $250 gift certificate for the MMPA Merchandise Program from Ecolab.

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