Tag Archives: Dairy

The National Milk Producers Federation urges all dairy farmers to sign up for the Dairy Margin Coverage Program. Enrollment in the program administered by the Department of Agriculture opened Tuesday.

NMPF cites the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and the expectation of volatile dairy margins in the next year, in the need for DMC protection. NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern says, “Coronavirus-related volatility in dairy markets is expected to continue well into 2021, with DMC payments a possibility.” DMC, the main risk-protection tool for dairy farmers enacted in the 2018 farm bill, is designed to promote stable revenues and protect against financial catastrophe on some or all of a farmer’s milk.

Despite forecasts in late 2019 predicting that DMC assistance would not be needed by farmers in 2020, margins instead fell to their lowest levels in more than a decade in the first half of this year, triggering payments that kept many dairies afloat. NMPF says DMC coverage offers certainty in times of need, allowing for better financial planning and faster payment when necessary.

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy Monday unveiled the Net Zero Initiative. The industry-wide effort will help U.S. dairy farms of all sizes and geographies implement new technologies and adopt economically viable practices.

The initiative is a critical component of U.S. dairy’s environmental stewardship goals. The plan is endorsed by dairy industry leaders and farmers to achieve carbon neutrality, optimized water usage and improved water quality by 2050. The organization also announced a key milestone on its journey toward carbon neutrality, an up to $10 million commitment and multi-year partnership with Nestlé to support the initiative and scale access to environmental practices and resources on U.S. farms.

The goals include becoming carbon neutral or better, optimize water use while maximizing recycling, and improve water quality by optimizing utilization of manure and nutrients. Officials say dairy companies and farms are already contributing to the goals in individual ways, and the dairy community will continue those efforts through the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment.

CEDAR GROVE, Wis. — About three dozen farmers, cheese processors and others got the undivided attention of the country’s top agricultural official today when Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative hosted a meeting with Sonny Perdue to discuss challenges facing farmers.

The setting was a 250-cow dairy farm in eastern Wisconsin run by Edge President Brody Stapel, his brother, Jory, and his father, Rudy.

“This is real America, and this is real agriculture,” said Perdue, the U.S. agriculture secretary. “We have people come to D.C. and talk about things there, but you get a real sense (of the issues) when neighbors come together at a farm like this… So, I appreciate the Edge co-op for hosting us here today and providing a venue for me to come out and figure out what we can do better. That’s all important.”

The mislabeling of non-dairy foods drew a lot of attention.

Amy Penterman, an Edge member with a dairy farm in northwestern Wisconsin, said that farmers have invested heavily in promoting dairy foods as safe and nutritious, and yet the Food and Drug Administration is failing to enforce current labeling standards that identify milk, cheese and other dairy products as originating from cows.

“It is extremely frustrating to see our investments in our own dairy terms be taken advantage of by imitation plant-based product manufacturers,” Penterman told Perdue. … “This is also unfair to customers who are misled.”

Edge co-commissioned a national survey in 2018 to measure customers’ views on plant-based foods that mimic dairy cheese. The results, released last year, showed that customers are confused about whether those products are indeed dairy foods and whether they carry the same nutritional value.

“Words do matter when it comes to customers’ buying decisions,” Stapel said. “People should be protected from deceptive names and packaging when they’re looking for real dairy products. We are not against customers having options at the grocery store, but they shouldn’t be lied to.”

Perdue fielded questions about many other topics also. Among them:

  • The second round of the federal Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which provides direct financial help to farmers struggling with low prices, lost markets and other supply chain disruptions tied to the pandemic. Signup for the program runs through Dec. 11.
  • The importance of free trade agreements to U.S. farmers, who are looking for new markets for their products. Perdue pointed to efforts to capture dairy market share in China and capitalize on emerging opportunities in Africa.
  • The challenges dairy farmers face in finding employees, given the lack of a year-round visa option for immigrant workers.

Stapel said it was a privilege to have Perdue visit his farm.

“I think it is crucial as president of Edge and also as a local dairyman that we get our farmer members and bring our voice right to the people who need to hear it,” he said.

Perdue said all farmers “share the same noble goal to feed their fellow countrymen.”

“Today, I got to visit with the great dairy men and women of Wisconsin and hear their concerns and bring them back to Washington to ensure their government is working for them, not against them,” he said.

  • Officially entered the pre-election madness which will bring market volatility
  • We will get more wait & see to sell until this is all over
  • We are moving into the core weather worry for South America
  • Winter wheat issues in Russia…any issues here in the states? They are #1 exporter
  • Dairy update-there is some worries about post-election
  • Cattle on Feed Report-reaction
  • Hogs & Pigs Report-reaction


ATLANTA, /PRNewswire/ — After a nationwide search, The Dairy Alliance Board of Directors has named Geri Berdak as their new Chief Executive Officer, who started with the organization on September 1, 2020.

“I am grateful for the privilege to work on behalf of the southeast dairy farmers who hold an outstanding work ethic and dedication to providing nutritious dairy products to families, while being stewards of their land and providing the highest quality care for their animals,” said Berdak.

Berdak is known for delivering strategic growth for organizations, consumer packaged goods businesses and ingredient companies in the wellness market. Her previous roles in strategic marketing, new business and product development and research and development were key skills in securing the new position. Her talent in the nutrition, marketing and business fields complements her interest in working to improve people’s lives.

Berdak has a Master of Business Administration from New York Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Food & Nutrition from Missouri State University.

Growing up in the Midwest and coming from a hog and crop farm family, Berdak is rooted in agriculture. “The dairy industry is one I’ve been passionate about since my first dairy job out of college 30 years ago,” Berdak revealed.

Her professional experience in the dairy industry started with her position as a nutritionist and educator for the St. Louis Dairy Council. She has earned additional experience in the food and beverage industry since then, holding positions as a nutritionist and marketer with Isagenix, Kerry’s, PepsiCo, and serving as Senior VP, Nutrition Strategy and Business Development with the U.S. Dairy Innovation Center at Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) from 2012-2015. Using the knowledge gained from her expansive career, she created the CloverQuest Group, LLC, a consulting group aiding food and beverage businesses in navigating the nutrition wellness environment.

As an avid cyclist, Berdak is looking forward to exploring the roads of the Southeast as she settles into her new role as CEO. She’s excited to be promoting dairy as an essential and sustainable ingredient to life while ensuring a strong return on investment for all dairy programs implemented through The Dairy Alliance.

About The Dairy Alliance
On behalf of dairy farm families, The Dairy Alliance, a nonprofit, works with schools, health professionals, retailers, dairy processors, and the public to promote dairy foods. For more information, visit thedairyalliance.com.

ARLINGTON, VA – A recent Midwest windstorm, wildfires raging across western states and an active hurricane season are adding natural disasters to the many challenges dairy farmers are facing in this year of COVID-19. To help them better prepare for and respond to these crises, the National Milk Producers Federation has created a new webpage for dairy farmers, www.nmpf.org/disaster-resources, offering natural-disaster-related resources and information.

“2020 has been difficult enough with the COVID-19 pandemic. But as with COVID-related disruptions, NMPF is here to help its members and the broader dairy community,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF.

Many producers are facing urgent needs to take precautions to protect themselves, their workforce and their livestock. And because emergencies and disasters can occur at any time and without warning regardless of where a farm is located, all producers should consider developing or updating Emergency Action Plans on their farms. NMPF’s page includes information compiled from authoritative sources on topics ranging from fire safety for livestock to on-farm hurricane preparation and the USDA’s Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool.