FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative > News > MilkLine Newsletter > September 2022 MilkLine Newsletter

It seems like only yesterday that we were busy planting and now we’re already in September.
As we wrap up this summer season and prepare for fall harvest, I encourage you to take a few minutes to read and learn more about the leadership opportunities within FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative.
Leadership Opportunities
Every fall, the cooperative has elections for three different leadership positions – Delegates, District & Resolution Committee Members, and the Board of Directors.
Every year, in each of our nine districts, delegates are elected to attend and participate in the cooperative’s two-day annual meeting which this year will be February 11-12 in Stevens Point.
During the meeting, delegates receive division reports on the accomplishments of Member Services, Milk Marketing and the Milk Testing Lab and review and approve the cooperative’s finances. there are updates on cooperative programs and services and speakers discussing new industry trends and the latest dairy market forecast. During Saturday’s business session, delegates have the critical role discussing and voting on resolutions presented by the Districting and Resolutions committee. These resolutions are the foundation of the cooperative’s policy priorities for the upcoming year. In addition to all the official business, attending the annual meeting is an ideal opportunity to connect with and learn from other dairy farmers from across the cooperative’s membership region.
Another leadership opportunity is serving on the Districting and Resolutions Committee, which is comprised of a member from each of our nine districts. Districts 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 are up for election in odd numbered years, while Districts 2, 4, 6, and 8 are up for election during even numbered years. A term is for two years.
D&R committee members meet in early January to review submitted resolutions and current policy and develop the draft policy that is presented to delegates at the annual meeting for their approval. This committee is also responsible for periodically reviewing membership numbers to make sure districts have approximately the same number of members. If you or a member you know is interested in discussing dairy policy initiatives and regulatory issues, serving on the D&R committee is an ideal fit.
Members wanting to become involved at the highest level within the cooperative should run for their District Director seat and serve on the Board of Directors. Each director seat is open for election every three years unless the seat becomes vacant. This year, director elections are taking place for Districts 6, 7, and 8.
Districts 7 and 8 are seeking new leaders. In District 8, Director Brian Wozniak retired from the board after selling his cows this summer, and District 7, Director Rich Meyer has enjoyed a long tenure as a director and has decided to not seek re-election this year. (Read more about these directors in upcoming issues of the MilkLine.)
Serving as a director on FarmFirst’s board places members in the driver’s seat so to speak. The board is responsible for overseeing all three divisions of the cooperative along with our disaster benefit program. Directors receive first-hand industry updates on national policy initiatives and consult with top industry experts and economists. We provide feedback to staff to continually revamp and improve existing programs, events, and initiatives. The FarmFirst board often collaborates with other cooperative boards and industry organizations, including the Midwest Dairy Coalition and the National Milk Producers Federation.
The Nomination Process
Our nomination period runs from now until October 1st, per the cooperative’s bylaws. For more information on how easy it is to nominate yourself or a fellow member, please visit page 5 in this newsletter. If you are already an active leader in FarmFirst, I encourage you to ask a FarmFirst member friend to join you as a leader
In early November, ballots are available either online, in-person during the cooperative’s 2022 district meetings, or mailed upon request. Each member farm has one vote. If you chose not to seek a leadership role, please take the time to vote for delegates, D&R committee members and directors. Your vote means a lot to the people that are running for election.
Take the Time Now
Now, I know we are all busy, keeping up with all our responsibilities and tasks. And I also know that many of you are already saying I don’t have enough time to participate in any of these. However, I encourage every member to consider taking on one of these leadership opportunities roles within FarmFirst! In my own experience, it has provided me with valuable connections and learning experiences. While it’s easy to say I’ll do it next year, we too often find ourselves saying that for years and miss out on great opportunities that have been available to us all along.
The time is now – nominate yourself or a fellow member and become more involved within FarmFirst, a grassroots cooperative dedicated to serving its members and their interests.
I look forward to seeing your name on a ballot this November. Make your nominations today!

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FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative
4001 Nakoosa Trail, Suite 100
Madison, WI 53714-1381

Toll-Free: 1-800-525-7704
Phone: 608-244-3373
Fax: 608-244-3643

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