Annual Meeting 2015: Wednesday, March 18

The 17th Annual Meeting of DFA ended today with approval by more than 240 delegates of updated resolutions on business and policy positions.

Jerrel Heatwole, Northeast Area Council co-chairman, pointed out that the “resolutions process is the grassroots expression of members’ desires.” The process began at the local level, with resolution proposals submitted within the seven Areas that make up DFA.

Wednesday’s session opened with comments from Jim Mulhern, president and chief executive officer of National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). He talked about the need for action on immigration reform in Congress, which is NMPF’s top legislative priority this year.

“Because of gridlock in Congress, we’re further away from immigration reform than two years ago,” he said.

In addition, Mulhern assessed the status of free trade talks that involved the United States, pointing out that Canada and Japan need to be more flexible in these discussions.

Later, Tom Gallagher, chief executive officer for Dairy Management Inc., described the various methods the dairy check-off program uses to help boost demand for dairy products, including partnering with leading food companies and restaurant chains.
“We’re here to be your voice when milk leaves the farm,” Gallagher said.

Check-off funds have facilitated the growth of cheese consumption, he said, and advanced research on milk fat, resulting in favorable media attention.

Attendees also received reports about DFA’s financials and the meeting closed with a question-and-answer session with senior staff.