At your service: Danny Glossup

Written by Melissa Gleisner

Five years ago, Dairy Farmers of America field representative Danny Glossup was fighting a cough that would not go away.

“I went to doctor after doctor to find out what it was,” he says. “They told me everything from asthma to lung disease. Being a non-smoker my whole life, I was confused how I would get lung disease, or what kind it would be.”

After doing some research on the Internet, he applied to be part of a research program at the University of Texas Southwestern. Through the program, doctors were able to diagnose Glossup with pulmonary fibrosis, a condition in which lung tissue becomes thickened, stiff and scarred, making it harder to transfer oxygen to the blood stream.

The diagnosis was scary, especially for someone working outside every day, visiting member farms and staying active in the industry. But, dairying had been a way of life for Glossup since he was 10, and he couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Glossup’s career started as a dairy farmer, first owning part of the herd on his father’s operation as a teenager, then starting his own operation with his wife, Karen, in Sulphur Springs, Texas, soon after they were married.

But, dairying in the 1990s was not easy, and the farm needed too many capital improvements for the Glossups to keep up.

“I had to make one of the toughest decisions of my life,” Glossup says. “We eventually decided to sell out and start a new life.”

Starting over after life as a dairyman was difficult. His wife begged him not to go into agriculture, and for a while, he listened. That was until July 1997, when he got wind that Mid-America Dairymen, a DFA predecessor cooperative, was looking for a field representative. Glossup knew that being a field representative was what he wanted to do.

“I love being around farmers,” he says. “That’s all I know and love.”

His role in the Cooperative goes beyond the farm.

“It’s the personal side of the business, getting to know the families, being there to answer their questions about DFA, going by the hospital to see their newborns or visiting while they’re sick and even being there as they lose a loved one that I love,” Glossup says.

Glossup views his job as an opportunity to help his members however he can every day. Field representatives act as everything from a nutrition consultant to a therapist when stepping onto a member’s farm.

“Danny is not only an employee of my dairy Cooperative, but a true friend who has first-hand knowledge of the industry that employs him,” says Keith Broumley, Southwest Area Council vice chairman. “During the trying years that we are dealing with, he has been a great friend to all of his producers and a good ear to listen to all the problems they are encountering.”

In addition, Glossup served as the Young Cooperator coordinator for the Southwest Area for five years, before he had to give up the role due to his health.

“This was by far my most rewarding job in DFA, watching our young farmers grow and become leaders in the Cooperative,” he says.

His illness showed Glossup that his members care as much about him as he does about them.

“Our members are family, and after going through a major surgery, I know they feel the same about me,” he says.