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NOVI, MI -- Shawn and Beth VanDrie of Lake City were recently selected as the state winning 2015 Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) Outstanding Young Dairy Cooperators (OYDC).

As the state winning cooperators, Shawn and Beth will represent MMPA at various industry and association activities. Darren and Regina Coffey of Allegan were selected as the runner-up cooperators. Selection of the OYDC is based on the applicant's farming operations, farm-related and community activities and demonstrated leadership abilities.

Shawn and Beth farm with her father and brother on their family farm, Rudvan Family Farms. The farm operates 1,350 acres and milks 290 cows. Beth is a graduate of Michigan State University's dairy management program, active in her local community and enjoys educating others about the dairy industry through tours of their farm and presentations. Shawn is also employed outside the farm as a welder. The VanDries are in the midst of an expansion plan and just completed phase one with a new 240 cow stall barn. The couple is a member of MMPA's Evart Local in District 5.

The VanDries were one of 10 cooperators invited to the annual OYDC Conference held August 13-14. The VanDries were selected to participate in the program earlier this year by fellow dairy farmers in their local and the MMPA State Nominating Committee.

"The OYDC program identifies outstanding young leaders in our organization and provides an opportunity for them to gain a greater understanding of milk marketing activities and MMPA," says Ken Nobis, MMPA president.

The state OYDC Conference, held at MMPA headquarters in Novi, provides participants with information about milk marketing activities, cooperatives, milk testing procedures and other current events within the dairy industry. The program has been held annually the past 65 years. This year's program featured the Top Ten OYDCs selected by the State Nominating Committee from a pool of applicants nominated by their local.

All Top Ten MMPA OYDCs will be officially recognized at MMPA's 100th Annual Meeting to be held March 24, 2016 in Lansing.

MMPA, established in 1916, is a member-owned and operated cooperative serving approximately 2,000 dairy farmers throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana.

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