From local communities to the national stage, many Land O’Lakes member-farmers are leaders in the dairy industry. This month, several members took on new responsibility when they were appointed to serve on a federal board overseeing dairy promotion programs.
On July 12, three Land O’Lakes members were among 13 new appointments announced by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to serve on the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (also known as the Dairy Checkoff Program). The 37-member federal board directs dairy promotion and research geared toward maintaining markets at home and abroad for dairy farmers, and unlocking new markets for U.S. dairy products.
Land O’Lakes dairy farmer-members appointed include:
- Evan J. Hillan of Ladysmith, WI, representing Region 6 (Wisconsin) on the board. Evan is a part owner of Rusk Rose Holsteins in Ladysmith and a 4th-generation family farmer. He is also currently an elected delegate for Land O’Lakes, Inc.
- David T. Pyle of Union Bridge, MD, representing Region 11 (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania). David and his wife Katherine own Cow Comfort Inn Dairy in Union Bridge, and David previously participated in many leadership development programs in the dairy industry.
- Michael R. Oosten of San Jacinto, CA, representing Region 2 (California and Hawaii). Michael owns Marvo Holsteins Dairy, has served as an alternate delegate for Land O’Lakes, Inc. since 2010 and has been active in many leadership development programs in the dairy industry.
The new appointees join fellow Land O’Lakes members Chris Sukalski of Leroy, MN, and Vernon Horst of Chambersburg, PA, who serve on the United Dairy Industry Association Board (UDIA), along with Marilyn Hershey of Cochranville, PA, a member who currently serves on the National Dairy Board, the UDIA board and is chair of Dairy Management Inc.
“These appointees represent a cross section of the dairy industry and will aid the National Dairy Board as it carries out its coordinated program of promotion and research to maintain and expand domestic and international markets for dairy products. I know the industry will be well served by them,” Secretary Perdue said in his announcement.
Within Land O’Lakes and across agriculture, there are many opportunities for members to lend their expertise and leadership to help shape the future of our industry. Through the Land O’Lakes Leader Development Program, members are given the opportunity to develop themselves and get involved in their co-op. You can learn more about the program here.