NEWS RELEASES

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Applauds U.S. Ending Steel & Aluminum Tariffs

May 17th, 2019

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative applauds the end of Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico and Canada. We are eager to see Mexico respond by dropping their tariffs on U.S. dairy products and restore trade with our number one export market.

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Discusses Trade with Vice President Mike Pence

May 16th, 2019

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative participated in a roundtable discussion with Vice President Mike Pence during his visit at J&D Manufacturing in Eau Claire, Wis. on May 16. With a focus on trade, FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative board member and dairy farmer Wayne Gajewski, Athens, Wis. expressed the need to pass the U.S. Mexico Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) during this discussion.

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Disaster Benefits Program Pays FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Members on Milk Loss

May 2nd, 2019

Thirty-three FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative members in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin will be receiving a disaster claim payment for milk loss as a result of the snowstorm that swept through the Upper Midwest February 23-24.

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Hardtke Retires, Homb Joins FDUSA Team

April 23rd, 2019

Norbert Hardtke, Director of Milk Marketing for the Family Dairies USA division of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, will retire on April 30, 2019, after a career dedicated to serving the milk marketing needs of dairy farmers across the Midwest. As he prepares for retirement, Mick Homb is set to take the reins as the new director of milk marketing for the cooperative’s Family Dairies USA division.

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Opposes Closing the U.S. Border with Mexico

April 1st, 2019

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative is adamantly opposed to the Trump administration’s proposal to close the U.S. southern border with Mexico.

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FarmFirst Supports Dairy Pride Act Reintroduction, Urges Immediate Action on Dairy Imitators

March 15th, 2019

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative fully supports the reintroduction of the Dairy Pride Act, by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jim Risch (R-ID.)  The Dairy Pride Act prohibits non-dairy products from using dairy terms on their labeling and forces the agency to resolve the issue within 90 days of its passage.

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Board Elects Officers, Welcomes New Directors

February 27th, 2019

John Rettler of Neosho, Wis. was re-elected as president of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative at the cooperative’s 7th Annual Meeting, held February 22-23 in Onalaska, WI.

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Delegates Set Dairy Policy Initiatives for 2019

February 26th, 2019

During the cooperative’s seventh annual meeting held on February 22-23 in Onalaska, Wis., cooperative delegates set dairy policy directives for the organization.

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Focused on the Future at 2019 Annual Meeting

February 25th, 2019

Delegates were ‘Focused on the Future’ during FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative’s seventh annual member meeting on February 22-23, 2019 in Onalaska, Wis., discussing issues pertinent to the future of their dairy farms and expanding their knowledge on a variety of topics.

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Media Encouraged to Join Conference Call Re: FDA and Dairy Labeling

February 20th, 2019

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Encourages Media to Join Conference Call

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Welcomes Dairy Farmers to Attend Workshop Series

February 4th, 2019

Dairy farmers are invited to attend FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative’s Producer Discovery Workshops as part of the cooperative’s 2019 Annual Meeting on Friday, February 22, 2019 at the Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center in Onalaska, Wis.

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FarmFirst Urges Farm Bill Be A Priority as Government Reopens

January 25th, 2019

After 35 days of the government shutdown, FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative welcomes its reopening and for immediate implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill.

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Scholarship Available Once Again

January 2nd, 2019

Scholarship applications are once again available for FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative membership youth pursuing a post-secondary education.

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FarmFirst Statement Regarding Selection of Brad Pfaff as DATCP Secretary

December 21st, 2018

“Brad has a history of working with all groups for the betterment of agriculture,” according to Lyon, “He understands the importance of animal health, food safety, ag resource management and agriculture’s role as an economic driver in the state.”

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FarmFirst Applauds 2018 Farm Bill Passage

December 20th, 2018

“For the first time since 1990, Congress has passed a new farm bill in the same year that the legislation was introduced,” says John Rettler, president of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative. “Members of Congress heard our concerns for dairy farmers and they listened by including several of the reforms we sought. Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill provides a bit of certainty during these challenging times for dairy farmers.”

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Dairy Forward Pricing Program Reauthorized with 2018 Farm Bill Passage

December 20th, 2018

With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the Dairy Forward Pricing Program is reauthorized, once again allowing proprietary plants who offer forward pricing to not pay minimum Federal Order prices for farmers’ pooled milk.

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FarmFirst Disappointed in Trade Mitigation Payment Level; Request Retaliatory Tariffs Be Lifted

December 18th, 2018

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative was hopeful that the administration would heed our concerns for these trade mitigation payments to more accurately reflect the costs dairy farmers are experiencing due to this trade war. However, we acknowledge their effort to help offset these losses.

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Applauds Farm Bill Progress; Asks Congress to Pass the Bill Quickly

December 11th, 2018

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative applauds the work of the Congressional leaders as the final conference report for the 2018 Farm Bill has been released.

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Applauds Senate Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill

December 11th, 2018

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative applauds Senate passage of the 2018 Farm Bill by an 87-13 margin. The bipartisan support in the Senate demonstrates the Senate’s recognition of the importance of agriculture and the challenges being faced by our farmers.

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FarmFirst Elated with Permanent Rule Allowing Low-fat (1%) Flavored Milk in Schools

December 6th, 2018

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative is elated by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s actions of returning low-fat (1%) flavored milk back into schools by making it a permanent part of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast program.

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Statement on the Signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement

November 30th, 2018

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative is pleased with the signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and applaud the Trump Administration for their timely effort on its passage.

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FarmFirst Asks USDA to Increase Trade Mitigation Payments for Dairy

November 9th, 2018

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative sent a letter to Secretary Perdue today on behalf its dairy farmer members across the Midwest, requesting that the mitigation payments to U.S. dairy farmers more accurately reflect the cost of the retaliatory tariffs placed on U.S. dairy products.

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Kicks Off Fall District Member Meetings in November

October 22nd, 2018

Members of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative can begin making reservations to attend their fall member district meetings, taking place across the cooperative’s seven-state membership during the month of November.

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FarmFirst Urges FDA to Use Existing Dietary Guidelines to Define ‘Healthy’

October 12th, 2018

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, and other members of the Midwest Dairy Coalition, submitted comments to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) suggesting that the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) be utilized by the agency when determining when the term “healthy” can be used on dairy food labels.

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Statement on New Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico

October 1st, 2018

This trilateral trade agreement continues a great trade partnership between these three countries, and it is a sign of all parties’ interest in long-term progress and growth to see these trade relationships continue.

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Statement on FDA Request for Comments on Dairy Food Labeling

September 27th, 2018

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative continues to be encouraged by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and their most recent action to receive public comments on the labeling of plant-based products with names that include the names of dairy foods such as “milk,” “cultured milk,” “yogurt,” and “cheese.”

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FarmFirst Requests Stronger Support for Farmers, if Tariffs Persist

September 25th, 2018

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative recently sent a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting greater financial support to U.S. dairy farmers in light of the retaliatory tariffs from Mexico, China and other countries.

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Family Dairies USA Welcomes Deanna Malin to Milk Marketing Team

August 13th, 2018

Malin began her role on July 30. 

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Applauds Dairy Innovation Program

August 1st, 2018

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative applauds the U.S. Senate’s passage of the $7 million in funding for the Dairy Innovation Act. Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin introduced the legislation in June as a way to support dairy product innovation, develop new products and expand markets.

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Statement on Defeat of the Lee Amendment to Block FDA Food Labeling Standards Enforcement

August 1st, 2018

Such strong opposition to the amendment is also sending a message to the FDA – that there is support for enforcing its standards of identity, and that there is concern in maintaining a fair marketplace.

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Statement on FDA to Prioritize Review of Standards of Identity for Dairy Products

July 26th, 2018

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative is encouraged by Commissioner Gottlieb’s comments, as he reiterated the same concerns the cooperative has regarding public health and misleading food labels.

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Statement on Ag Assistance to Offset Damage from Retaliatory Tariffs

July 24th, 2018

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative is encouraged by President Trump’s decision to authorize $12 billion in economic assistance to help farmers that are facing the impact of retaliatory tariffs. We are pleased that our repeated concerns have not fallen on deaf ears.

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Statement on FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s Comments on Dairy Labeling

July 19th, 2018

Our comments are being heard, as FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative has been focusing on this issue for quite some time.

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Awards 16 Scholarships to Students

July 11th, 2018

Nearly $130,000 has been awarded to member’s children to pursue higher education the last six years

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FarmFirst Thanks Senate Ag Committee on Farm Bill Progress

June 13th, 2018

Latest draft of Farm Bill includes several positive provisions

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FarmFirst Welcomes Betty Lund to Member Services Team

June 12th, 2018

Lund began her role on May 1

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Helps Farmers During April Snowstorm

May 24th, 2018

Nineteen FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative members, five in South Dakota and 14 in Wisconsin were affected by impassable roads during the snowstorm, however, because of their membership with FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative they received a disaster payment for their lost milk.

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FarmFirst Board Welcomes New Directors, Elects Officers

February 12th, 2018

Three New Board Members Join Cooperative Leadership

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FarmFirst Workshops Open to All Dairy Producers

January 30th, 2018

Young Cooperators Welcome all Dairy Producers to Attend

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FarmFirst Welcomes Jeff Lyon as New General Manager

January 25th, 2018

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative welcomes Jeff Lyon to the role of General Manager. He begins serving in this role on February 1, 2018.

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FarmFirst Introduces 2018 Summer Internship

December 19th, 2017

This internship would expose a young individual to various aspects of the dairy industry and the cooperative’s role serving processing plants and producers across the Midwest.

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David Cooper Resigns as General Manager of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative

December 8th, 2017

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative announced today the resignation of its general manager, David Cooper, from the organization to be effective December 31st, 2017. A true, dedicated professional to all dairy farmers and industry professionals, his resignation marks a new chapter to refocus on his family.

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Second FarmFirst Summer Picnic Hosted at B. Kurt Dairy

August 4th, 2017

Plans for a second picnic are underway, as Young Cooperators Bryanna and Dylan Handel are set to host the second FarmFirst summer picnic on their farm in Barneveld, Wis. on Tuesday, August 22.

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Awards 25 Scholarships to Students

July 24th, 2017

Over $115,000 has been awarded to member’s children to pursue higher education in the last five years

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Misty Hollow Farms Hosts FarmFirst June Summer Picnic

June 7th, 2017

Plans set for their first YC picnic taking place this summer, held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 22 at Misty Hollow Farms in Athens, Wis.

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative to Pay Equity Patronage

May 26th, 2017

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Board of Directors have authorized return of fiscal year 2016 patronage equity to its members.

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Lighthizer Brings Valuable Experience to U.S. Trade Discussions

May 16th, 2017

Full agenda for Lighthizer when it comes to dairy

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FarmFirst Speaks Up for Dairy Farmers at National Trade Meeting

May 3rd, 2017

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative spoke in Washington, D.C. this week at a national trade policy rally to represent Midwest dairy farmers and stress the importance of free and fair trade on the dairy industry.

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The Milk Market Disruption: The Conversation Continues.

May 1st, 2017

Today, May 1st, brought to a close a very long month of April for several dairy farmers. It marks the end of some of the longest weeks for these dairy farmers, as the dairy community rallied around to support these affected farmers and work to find a solution leading up to this market day deadline.

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FarmFirst Applauds USDA Secretary Perdue on Changes to School Milk Options

May 1st, 2017

Announcement Returns 1% Flavored Milk to School Lunch Programs

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Statement from FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative

April 8th, 2017

As many of you know, several dairy farmers were given notice that they no longer would have a market for their milk with Grassland beginning on May 1st. At a time when volumes are high and markets are stressed, this notification couldn’t have come at a more difficult moment...

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Focuses on Connecting with Consumers at Fifth Annual Meeting

February 21st, 2017

This year’s annual meeting theme was ‘Connecting and Engaging on Common Ground’ as the challenges that exist in the marketplace have become a top concern among dairy farmers everywhere. 

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Producer Discovery Workshops Focus on the Future at FarmFirst Annual Member Meeting

January 18th, 2017

Dairy farmers are welcome and encouraged to attend the Producer Discovery Workshop series taking place on Friday, February 10 at Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells, Wis. as part of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative’s Annual Member Meeting.

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FarmFirst Applauds Senator Baldwin on DAIRY PRIDE Act

January 12th, 2017

Bill Prompts FDA to Enforce Existing Milk Labeling Standards

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Awards 28 Scholarships to Students

July 15th, 2016

Over $23,000 was awarded to member's children to pursue higher education

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FarmFirst Applauds Roberts-Stabenow Commitment to Food Biotech Legislation

June 23rd, 2016

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative is pleased to see a compromise agreement reached on the federal biotech food labeling legislation, thanks to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow.

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Clark Elected as Chair of FarmFirst Young Cooperators

February 18th, 2016

Clark, Leahy to lead Young Cooperator committee and program efforts

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FarmFirst Eyes the Future at Fourth Annual Meeting

February 17th, 2016

Members take time to prepare for future dairy prices and transition challenges

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative 2016 Scholarship Deadline March 1st

February 2nd, 2016

Applicants are reminded to submit scholarships before March 1st deadline

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FarmFirst Annual Meeting Set for Feb. 12-13

January 19th, 2016

All dairy producers are welcome to attend Producer Discovery Workshops

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Fall District Member Meetings Scheduled for FarmFirst

October 16th, 2015

Third season of District Member Meetings marks the end of the cooperative’s three-year transition
 

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TPP Trade Talks Concluded, Industry Awaits Details

October 6th, 2015

The Trans-Pacific Partnership discussions concluded on October 5, and is being presented as a landmark agreement that will ‘liberalize trade across 40% of the global economy.’

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FarmFirst Applauds Deadline Extension for MPP

September 9th, 2015

Extension and new payment plan provides flexible planning for U.S. dairy farmers
 

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Awards 25 Scholarships to Students

June 10th, 2015

Over $21,000 was awarded to member's children to pursue higher education

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