I recently received a message through our FarmFirst Facebook page from a gentleman who simply wrote, “How do you help farmers?” I proceeded to write him back by explaining the services and policy advocacy that we provide to our members through our diverse cooperative. Later that day, I reflected on this a bit.
It’s a question that strikes at the heart of our mission, and at FarmFirst we take our mission seriously. We exist “to provide our members with a unified voice in dairy policy, strong marketing opportunities, and valued member services through trusted first-hand industry involvement and leadership. These aren’t just words on paper; they drive our work as a cooperative. We are here for our members and to offer services that protect your interests and help you achieve your goals.
One of the key pillars of our mission is providing all members with a unified voice in dairy policy. It is our job to speak up for dairy farmers. We are member-owned, member-driven, and member-focused. This is why we rely on member involvement to ensure that we are addressing the concerns and issues that are a priority to you. On December 12 at 12 noon, we will be having a virtual policy development meeting, and I encourage you to attend and voice your opinion on what you would like to see our policy advocacy focus on in the coming year.
All dairy farmers want and deserve a competitive price for their milk. Our Family Dairies division provides competitive milk marketing for our patrons. We strive to provide our patrons with a competitive milk price and have been fortunate to have not dumped any milk during the last several months. Having the daily responsibility of picking up milk, selling and paying our patrons for their hard work gives us a greater understanding of what all our members are experiencing.
Our commitment to our members goes beyond policy and milk marketing. We ensure your milk production and components are verified and accurate through tank calibrations and regular milk test verification. You deserve to be paid correctly for the quality milk you are producing.
We also strive to support our members in telling your story and connecting with consumers. It is vital that we aid in the promotion of dairy through events and farm tours, and we are dedicated to helping our members in doing so. If you have an event or farm tour that you need support with, make sure to contact your member services representative. You’ll also see FarmFirst at other industry events to stay connected with our valuable partners within the industry.
Our vision also includes the future. This is why FarmFirst makes it a point to invest in youth through scholarships and the sponsorship of youth events. We have recently been working diligently to ramp up our Young Cooperator program in an effort to connect our younger members and get them involved in and prepared for future leadership roles within our cooperative. The next generation is vital to FarmFirst and our industry.
At our Member Appreciation Dinners which are coming up in November and December, we look forward to seeing you and talking about the work we have done this past year to achieve our mission and vision. We will also take some time to talk about the year ahead and get your input on how we can best help you achieve your goals. Afterall, FarmFirst is your cooperative, and when we are asked “How do you help farmers?”, we want to continue to be able to provide an answer that makes you proud to be a member.
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