January 2024 MilkLine Newsletter

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative > News > MilkLine Newsletter > January 2024 MilkLine Newsletter

It is the start of a new year and many of us are doing what we can to put the past year in the rear-view mirror and are looking forward to what the new year might bring. I am reminded of a quote from Ray Wylie Hubbard, an old Texas singer and songwriter, whose music I like. I’m guessing Ray Wylie wasn’t the first to say it, but here it is….

“The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days.” For me these are words to live by and it doesn’t mean that I keep my expectations low.

2023 certainly wasn’t a picnic for dairy farmers. At our recently completed Appreciation Dinners we heard about low milk prices, high input costs and your concern about the future. But we also heard your passion for the industry, your farms, and the opportunity to work with family.

For me, I am grateful for the opportunity to lead FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative and work for some of the smartest, hardworking, resilient people I know. Each day, you get up and get after it with little recognition for your work with dairy cows to produce nature’s most perfect food. I am motivated to do the best I can to position FarmFirst for the future and to work for positive results on legislative and regulatory issues.

I am grateful for my talented and dedicated co-workers who are doing their best to deliver the services and programs that you need and have come to expect. Our Member Services Division is working to revitalize our Young Cooperator program. Our field representatives are busy meeting with members and planning networking events for our next group of leaders. Our Family Dairies USA, Milk Marketing Division staff are diligently seeking new milk buyers and increasing milk sales to current buyers. Every day, the staff at Fox Valley Quality Control Lab is maintaining the protocols to make sure milk test results are accurate and delivered to farmers in a timely manner. All of us seek out opportunities to promote you and the dairy industry.

I am grateful to the FarmFirst Board of Directors and all the other members that have accepted leadership roles. It’s the combination of volunteer leaders and professional staff working together that makes FarmFirst successful.

The FarmFirst annual meeting is February 9-10 in Wisconsin Dells and we’ve selected “Mission: Possible” as our meeting theme. This doesn’t mean we will be glossing over the issues. In fact, we’ll be addressing the issues head on with a presentation on what we might see in 2024 with respect to milk prices and input costs. At FarmFirst we’re concerned about your mental health and wellbeing, and we have a speaker that will address what each of us can do to help ourselves. We’ll also learn more about our victories in the legislative, regulatory, and public arena and what we’re working on in 2024.

Can things better? Most definitely. But I have found that the days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations I have really good days.

Here is hoping that we all have more really good days than bad days in 2024.

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

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Phone: 608-244-3373
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