Opening speakers and AMPI leaders offer industry insight at annual meeting

NEW ULM, Minn. (March 9, 2016) — Growing Midwest milk production and rising foodservice sector sales are among the performance highlights to be shared at the annual meeting of Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI). The cooperative’s dairy farmer-owners will gather as part of a two-day annual delegate meeting, which begins Monday, March 21.

Nearly 350 people, including AMPI elected representatives from six Upper Midwest states and industry leaders, are expected for the milk marketing cooperative’s annual business review. The group will meet at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington, Minn.

During the opening program, attendees will hear from Vita Plus Dairy Development Manager Gary Sipiorski as he analyzes the volatile margins of the dairy industry and offers options for tackling the future. Entrepreneur and inventor of the Lay’s Oven Baked Potato Crisps, Jeff Stamp will then deliver a motivational message about farm lessons that aren’t taught at a university.

The annual member business meeting convenes March 22 and will include insight into the cooperative’s 2015 performance delivered by the AMPI leadership team. AMPI Chairman of the Board Steve Schlangen, a dairy farmer from Albany, Minn., will review the steps taken to ensure a long-term market for members’ milk. AMPI Co-Presidents and CEOs Donn DeVelder and Sheryl Meshke will then detail progress made on the cooperative’s strategic plan and set the stage for the years to come.

AMPI delegates will vote to determine the cooperative’s position on issues and policies. The deliberations are the culmination of the cooperative’s grassroots policy-making process.

AMPI Young Cooperators — members under the age of 40 — will also gather at the annual meeting. The education and leadership development program provides an opportunity for members to learn more about the milk marketing business they own, while networking and socializing with fellow young dairy farmers.

AMPI is headquartered in New Ulm, Minn., and owned by 2,200 Midwest dairy farm families from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. AMPI members annually market about 5.9 billion pounds of milk, resulting in $1.7 billion in sales for the cooperative.