Dairy Industry annual meeting notes success despite COVID-19
During a virtual annual meeting of dairy industry groups, Dairy Management Incorporated reflected on strategically adjusting business plans due to the impacts of COVID-19. They told farmers and industry representatives that this year’s results are due to industry unity, agility, and relentless relationship building.
“The systems farmers have put in place work, and in normal times, we celebrate those successes,” said Barbara O’Brien, President of DMI. “What the last seven months have proven is that it also works in difficult times, frankly times we couldn’t have imagined.”
The virtual meeting included representatives from the United Dairy Industry Association, National Dairy Promotion, and Research Board, and the National Milk Producers Federation. DMI CEO Tom Gallagher said one of the highlights of the USDA per capita report shows consumption reached 653 pounds per person in 2019, a 60-year high for dairy.
“This comes as a shock to a lot of people who say dairy is dead,” Gallagher says. “They think about the decline in fluid milk, but they don’t think about all of the other areas that have grown exponentially.”
Gallagher credits these successes to farmers who took leadership in creating the dairy promotion program through a Congressional act in 1983. Per capita growth since that year has increased by 80 pounds.