DFA Board Chairman Randy Mooney has been named 2014 Director of the Year by the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC).
He received the award at NCFC’s annual meeting in San Diego, Calif., on February 12, 2015. The award recognizes the outstanding achievements of farmer cooperative directors who take the lead to help their board of directors make decisions vital to their cooperative.
Mooney was nominated for his “ability to think long term and with a visionary’s sense of direction that goes beyond his work on his dairy.”
When the dairy industry experienced historically low margins in 2009, Mooney was serving as first vice chairman of DFA’s Board of Directors. In May 2009, as margins began to diminish, Mooney, along with former Board chairman, the late Tom Camerlo, convened a committee of dairymen around the country to consider potential changes to federal dairy policy before the damage to dairy farmer equity was even known.
As the year went on, under Mooney’s leadership, DFA developed a proposal for future dairy policy, and worked with other industry organizations to gain consensus and further develop dairy policy reform. This effort eventually resulted in the Margin Protection Program, which was signed into law as part of the 2014 Farm Bill.
Elected chairman of DFA in 2009 as the industry endured declining milk prices, skyrocketing feed prices and a narrowing of on-farm margins, Mooney was keenly aware of the financial and emotional stress present on dairy farms across the country. He worked diligently with DFA’s leadership team to find ways to help members weather the storm, including establishing a DFA Cares helpline that connected members with resources to help with financial and legal planning or emotional support.
Since 1979, Mooney and his wife, Jan, have been operating Mooney Dairy in Rogersville, Mo., which has been in the Mooney family for more than 160 years. They have always been progressive on their operation. After growing the milking herd from 50 cows to more than 300, the Mooneys implemented rotational grazing in 1991 in an effort to increase profitability and operate sustainably.
Mooney has been on the DFA Board of Directors since the Cooperative was formed in 1998. He also serves as chairman of National Milk Producers Federation and on the boards of several other industry organizations, including Dairy Management Inc., the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, Hiland Dairy and the Missouri State Milk Board.
Photos: (Top) Randy Mooney on his dairy in Rogersville, Mo.; (Left) Mooney being presented Director of Year award from Robert Engel, chief executive officer of CoBank.