Q&A: Joyce Bupp

Written by Marjie Knust
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Joyce Bupp, chairperson, DFA Cares Foundation and Board member
Bupplynn Farms
Seven Valleys, Pa.

Joyce Bupp and her husband, Leroy, have been dairying since 1964 on their operation in Seven Valleys, Pa. Milking 200 cows, the couple also farms 750 acres of corn, alfalfa, soybeans, small grain and grass hay. Joyce stays involved in the industry as a member of Cattlemen’s Beef Board for her area, Pennsylvania Dairy Stakeholders, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association board, Pennsylvania Holstein Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program. In addition, she serves as chairperson for the DFA Cares Foundation, which financially assists members who have been affected by natural disasters, works to provide food to those in need and awards scholarships to students pursuing careers in the dairy industry.

What is your responsibility as chairperson of the DFA Cares Foundation?

My responsibility as DFA Cares chairperson includes conducting our meetings, staying in touch with staff as we receive requests for assistance and contributions, helping to keep our DFA Cares committee members informed of activity between meetings as necessary and reporting back to the full Board. We all share the responsibility as spokespeople for DFA Cares whenever we have the chance to let others know what our foundation does and encourage support for our assistance to those in need.

How does the foundation help dairy producers?

The foundation assists dairy producers who have suffered losses from natural disasters. The foundation was started when dairy producers were left with terrible property destruction following Hurricane Katrina. Today, we continue to send assistance after losses due to flooding, tornadoes, lightning strikes, high winds, hurricanes, etc.  Recently, we’ve been able to assist some of our dairy producers who had extensive loss and damages to feed and property from the devastating floods in Colorado this summer. Another of our programs is one that we hope to never have to use, the honoring and supporting of dairy families who lose a loved one to military service.

Why did you want to get involved in DFA Cares?

Despite the many challenges producers face, from variable and unpredictable weather to economic pressures and volatile milk prices, there seems to be almost unanimous gratitude that we are very, very blessed in multiple ways. We have the opportunity to be stewards of God’s gifts and to work closely with our families. It’s so important that we show appreciation for all that we have by finding ways to give back to help others. Farmers have a longtime tradition of helping others in need. DFA Cares is another way we can reach out, in that time-honored rural tradition of lending a hand to a neighbor in need.

What are some goals for DFA Cares in the next year?

An ongoing goal of DFA Cares is to continue to find more meaningful ways that we can help: help dairy families struggling with natural disaster losses; to continue and expand our scholarship support of bright and deserving young people studying for careers in dairy/agriculture; to honor and support dairy families who lose loved ones in military service; and to be supporters of community efforts, including programs aimed at helping to feed those who are hungry, especially efforts focused on feeding hungry children.